MANCHESTER — English soccer champions Manchester United reported a 29% increase in revenue to £98,5 million (R1,6 billion) in the three months through to September, after sponsors and TV deals pushed the quarterly figure to a record high. The club also welcomed the latest broadcast deal, under which BT will pay about £900 million for rights to European club soccer for three years from 2015. The club reported a core profit of £22 million in the quarter, an increase of 36%. United, who won the English league title for the 20th time in May, have new sponsorship deals with companies that include Russia airline Aeroflot and soft-drink company PepsiCo. United, controlled by the American Glazer family, are forecasting revenues for the year between £420 million to £430 million, closing the gap on European rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. United shares, which have been on the New York Stock Exchange since August 2012, closed at $15,75 on Wednesday, valuing the club at $2,6 billion. The stock has risen from a flotation price of $14 and its performance has defied critics, who argue that soccer clubs are a risky investment that is best left to fans.