Manchester United reveal financial damage of coronavirus pandemic in latest results

United’s financial results hit by absence of fans from Old Trafford and broadcasting rebate

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Wednesday 21 October 2020 12:53
Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford
Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford

Manchester United have revealed the financial damage of the Covid-19 pandemic in their latest set of financial results, with revenues and profits suffering a significant blow.

United’s total revenues for the 2019-20 financial year were down by £118m, with matchday and broadcasting incomes hit by the ban on supporters attending Old Trafford and the rebate to television companies.

The club’s net debt figure rose by 133% to £474.1m due to a decline in cash reserves, with sponsorship and season tickets payments deferred while investment in the playing squad continued.

United’s actual debt - a source of much debate since the Glazer family ownership’s controversial leveraged buy-out in 2005 - rose by 3% to £525.6m.

Despite the effect of the pandemic, United still made an operating profit of £5.2m up until the end of the financial year, though this fell by 90% from £50m in 2018-19.

United club also announced a six-month extension to their shirt sponsorship with car manufacturers Chevrolet until December 2021.

It is understood that United remain in dialogue with potential future shirt sponsors, though an extension was agreed with Chevrolet in order to provide more certainty on revenues.

Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, said:  “Our focus remains on protecting the health of our colleagues, fans and community while adapting to the significant economic ramifications of the pandemic. 

"Within that context, our top priority is to get fans back into the stadium safely and as soon as possible. 

"We are also committed to playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid through this period of adversity, while exploring options for making the English game stronger and more sustainable in the long-term. 

"This requires strategic vision and leadership from all stakeholders, and we look forward to helping drive forward that process in a timely manner. 

"On the pitch, we have strengthened the team over the summer and we remain committed to our objective of winning trophies, playing entertaining, attacking football with a blend of academy graduates and high-quality recruits, while carefully managing our resources to protect the long-term resilience of the club.”

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