Premier League

Manchester United predict record revenue for 2016-’17 season

“We are forecasting better financial performance than expected and have raised our revenue and profit guidance,” said United executive Ed Woodward.

Manchester United predicted a record rise in annual revenue to between £560 million ($721.8 million, €652.4 million) and £570 million in their latest quarterly financial figures released on Tuesday. United had previously told investors to expect revenue of between £530 million and £540 million for the 2016-17 financial year.

Broadcast revenue for the quarter rose by 12.9 percent to £31.4 million, largely due to the Premier League’s new bumper television rights deal taking effect. “We are forecasting better full-year financial performance than expected and as such have raised our revenue and profit guidance for the year,” said United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in a press release.

“We look forward to a strong finish to 2016-’17, both on and off the pitch.” United failed to qualify for this season’s Champions League, but their exploits in the Europa League have helped them to record strong financial results.

They have won the League Cup in Jose Mourinho’s first season as manager and will face Ajax in the final of the Europa League, the only tournament they have never won, on May 24. They must win the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League, having failed to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.

United will see a 30 percent reduction in their sponsorship deal with Adidas – a loss of £21 million if they do not reach the Champions League, spread out over the remaining eight years of the contract.

Despite that, Woodward told investors in a conference call that United have made “tremendous progress on and off the pitch” under Mourinho. United will receive 6.5 million euros in prize money if they win the Europa League and 3.5 million euros if they lose the final.

The club’s operating expenses rose 27 percent to £129.8 million, partly due to the contracts offered to new signings including Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. United also hired a significant number of new non-playing staff members. Net debt rose by £17.6 million to £366.3 million, which the club said was due to the strengthening US dollar.

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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

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During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.