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Man Utd boast 'fastest-growing' YouTube channel

© AFP/File | Manchester United are one of the most popular clubs in the world

LONDON (AFP) - 

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Thursday hailed the success of the club's recently launched YouTube channel as the Premier League giants announced their latest quarterly results.

United finished second in the Premier League, 19 points behind Manchester City, and crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage.

But Woodward put a positive spin on the season, with Jose Mourinho preparing for this weekend's FA Cup final against Chelsea.

"As another season nears its close, we have achieved our highest number of points and finish since 2012/13 and we look forward to another trip to Wembley," he said in a statement.

"We anticipate another successful summer tour in the United States in preparation for the 2018/19 season."

Woodward highlighted the success of the club's YouTube channel, only launched in February, during a conference call -- it now has nearly 835,000 subscribers.

"This quarter we launched the club's first YouTube channel and in terms of subscribers, within the first hour we overtook the Dallas Cowboys and an hour later we overtook the (New York) Yankees.

"The channel quickly became bigger than all the US sports teams and at currently over 800,000 subscribers we're the fastest-growing sports club channel that has ever launched on YouTube."

But United are playing catch-up with their rivals. They are a long way behind pacesetters Barcelona, who have 4.2 million subscribers, and even neighbours Manchester City, who have 1.2 million.

Revenue for the quarter to March 31 was £137.5 million ($186 million), up eight percent year on year, with broadcast revenue up 26 percent, mainly due to playing an extra Premier League home game and two additional games being broadcast live.

"Both the Megastore and e-commerce performance were boosted by the signing of (Alexis) Sanchez in January," said Woodward.

United, owned by the American Glazer family and listed in New York, have won the English Premier League a record 20 times but have not lifted the trophy since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Their second-placed finish this year ensures they will be in the Champions League again next season.

© 2018 AFP