Manchester United tell investors team is expected to reach Champions League quarter-finals and wage bill could rise by almost 20 per cent

Joe Hall
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Ed Woodward spoke on a call with Manchester United investors (Source: Getty)

Manchester United are forecasting a hike of around 20 per cent in their wage bill due to their return to the Champions League - where the club expect to at least reach the quarter-finals.

Read more: Manchester United profit tumbles

The Premier League giants announced their financial results for the last season today which revealed an £11.8m (5.5 per cent) fall in wage costs to £203m.

United were not required to pay their players any European bonuses last season after David Moyes' disastrous 2013/14 campaign left them outside of the top six.

Yet following their return to Europe's elite under Louis van Gaal, United's head of corporate finance Hemen Tseayo said he expected staff costs to rise in the "high teens percentage".

Tseayo told investors on a conference call that the team is expected to at least reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

"We have not changed our assumptions," said Tseayo following United's group stage loss to PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday. "They were quarter-finals in the Champions League and for your modelling purposes I suggest you keep that the same."

Investors were cheered by the revelation that the club will begin to pay out their first dividend since their IPO in 2012. United will pay out a regular quarterly $0.045 dividend to shareholders which will amount to roughly £20m a year.

Speaking on the same conference call, United vice-chairman Ed Woodward also detailed to investors that Financial Fair Play still had a role to play - despite relaxed rules and rivals Manchester City spending £142.4m.

Read more: Five graphs that sum up the summer transfer window

Woodward said: "I expect they [City] spent within the rules, the rules are very clear and I think everyone understands them.

"There is still significant discussion about FFP being important to all clubs across Europe...[In the Premier League] there are some big revenue increases coming...and bare in mind when you buy a player...the fee is spread over the length of his contract through amortisation."

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