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Manchester United confirm £20m Old Trafford Upgrades, PSG extend FIFA partnership and Borussia Dortmund post record non-transfer revenues

11:47 PM SGT 15/8/19
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This week saw the Red Devils confirm £20m of Old Trafford upgrades, PSG extend their FIFA partnership and Borussia Dortmund post record revenues

Goal rounds up the top business stories of the week from Soccerex, including details of Manchester United's £20 million ($24.1m) upgrades to Old Trafford, Paris Saint-Germain extending their FIFA partnership until 2024 and Borussia Dortmund posting record revenues thanks to an increase in broadcast rights....

Manchester United confirm £20m Old Trafford upgrades

Manchester United have spent the pre-season upgrading Old Trafford, the club have confirmed, with Off The Pitch reporting a spend of more than £20 million on the project.

Collette Roche, Manchester United’s Chief Operating Officer, told Off The Pitch: "We continue to invest in improvements across multiple areas at Old Trafford to enhance the experience for our fans, including security improvements and significant improvements for our disabled fans.”

New additions to the 75,000-seater venue include the promised "atmosphere section" for up to 1,200 fans, situated in the Stretford End first tier, and follows successful fan-led pilot tests over the past two seasons. Improvements have also been made to the concourse environment, which now has more food and beverage kiosks in the Stretford End Right Side.

Several hospitality suites have been freshened up, which Off The Pitch says come as the club seek to continually evolve the experience for supporters at British soccer’s biggest club stadium.

Upgrades to a select number of VIP suites will deliver a better experience for fans and also "opens those suites up to more use on non-match days."

United’s senior management expects these new elements to contribute to matchday income, which reportedly accounts for 18 per cent of the club’s total annual revenue.

The hierarchy at United have also decided to invest in improving the accessible facilities at Old Trafford. A total of 118 new wheelchair positions are reportedly being created, as well as 158 new amenity seats across four locations inside the stadium. The new additions aim to offer a much greater choice of vantage points for disabled fans, both at different levels and price points.

The new accessible facilities are set to be permanently in use from the 2020/21 season, making a total of 278 wheelchair positions and 278 dedicated amenity seats across the venue.

PSG extend EA Sports FIFA partnership

Paris Saint-Germain and FIFA developer Electronic Arts (EA) have extended their partnership through to 2024.

First teaming up in 2011, the renewed deal sees EA Sports serve as a premium partner. It now means FIFA 20, the latest release in EA’s soccer game series, will get additional club assets, enabling it to provide gamers with more realistic content when they play.

It also includes the co-creation of digital content to help promote the new title and the setting up of international events throughout the season, including the club’s pre-season tours abroad.

Marc Armstrong, Chief Partnerships Officer at PSG, said: “We know that a large proportion of the people who engage with Paris Saint-Germain, not least our fans all over the world, regularly play the various games created by EA Sports. The extension of this partnership is also a way for the club to strengthen its relationship with its fans.”

Antoine Cohet, Senior Marketing Manager at Electronic Arts, added: “We have chosen to strengthen our commitment to the club and give ourselves the freedom to create new content that will captivate the community. Paris Saint-Germain’s fans will continue to have the chance to play with their club and their favourite players with increasingly unrivaled authenticity on FIFA.”

Borussia Dortmund post record non-transfer revenues of €369m

Borussia Dortmund have achieved record revenues excluding player transfers of €369 million (£338m/$413m) for the 2018-19 financial year, in new figures announced by the club.

Overall, the club posted consolidated revenues of €489 million (£448m/$547m) for the period ending June 20 2019, down from €536 million (£491m/$599m) in the previous year.

However, the 2017-18 figures were boosted by the sales of Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameang for reported fees of €105 million (£96m/$117m) and €64 million (£59m/$71m) respectively. In this year’s filings, excluding player sales, Dortmund saw their revenues increase from €313 million (£287m/$350m) by €56 million (£51m/$63m), an 18 per cent rise.

Broadcast rights made up more than half that amount, totalling €167 million (£153m/$187m), compared to €122 million (£112m/$137m) last year. Sponsorship and advertising revenue rose from €94 million (£86m/$105m) to €97 million (£89m/$108m).

That saw the club’s profit after tax eventually come to €17 million (£16m/1$19m), down from €32 million (£29m/$35m), in part affected by the sharp decrease in transfer revenue, which fell from €223 million (£204m/$249m) to €120 million (£110m/$134m).

Hans-Joachim Watzke, Borussia Dortmund’s Chairman, said: “We are a strong brand and will continue to consistently work on the German market, but just as consistently on the international market, especially in America and Asia.

“Our journeys bear fruit. The [pre-season] trip to the US was a complete success. In the sports field we have created the conditions for a successful season. We have a good team, a good team of coaches and are very enthusiastic about our goals.”

Looking ahead, Dortmund’s 2019-20 finances will get a boost after they announced a new three-year partnership with IT security specialist ESET and extended their existing deal with second-tier partner Coca-Cola.