Manchester United have released incredibly bleak quarterly financial figures today.
In a conference call with investors, executive vice chairman Ed Woodward reported that the revenue from January 1st to March 31st was 19% less than the previous year and stood at £123.7 million.
In addition, the club’s debt rose a staggering 42% and now stands at £429.1 million.
The club paid almost £8 million (£7.9m) in interest on debt in the quarter, which equates to an annual figure of £32 million.
One big change in the accounts from the previous year was a 52% decrease in broadcasting revenue ‘primarily due to an estimated £15.0m Premier League rebate due to broadcasters, following delay and broadcast schedule changes to the 2019/20 football season, non-participation in the UEFA Champions League, and the impact of playing two fewer Premier League away games.’
Woodward warned that although the results had been affected by the pandemic, worse is yet to come.
‘Our third-quarter results published today reflect a partial impact that the pandemic has had on the club, while the greater impact will be in the current quarter and likely beyond’ he said.
‘There are still profound challenges ahead, and for football as a whole, and it is safe to say it will not be “business as usual” for some time.’
Chief financial officer Cliff Baty also took part and explained the loss of TV revenue caused by the season’s postponement.
‘Given the delay caused by COVID-19 to the playing schedule, we anticipate that the revenues from the Premier League for completion of the 2019/20 season will be reduced, as discussions remain ongoing with broadcasters’ Baty said.
‘For Manchester United, we have estimated this reduction to be around £20 million for a full season of 38 games. At the third quarter, we have provided for a £15m reduction to our broadcasting revenues to reflect this impact for the 29 games played to date.’
Whilst the news makes for gloomy reading, one ray of sunshine revealed in the call was the cash available for transfers.
The Red Devils have £90.3 million in cash reserves and access to £150 million in credit, making a total of some £240 million that could, in theory, be made available in the transfer market.
Another positive was commercial revenue, which despite everything rose 3% in the quarter to £68.6 million.
Despite the horrific results, United are believed to be in a relatively strong position due to that commercial revenue, which represents a bigger proportion of overall revenue than gate and merchandising receipts and broadcasting. Most clubs are much more reliant on this football-related income, which has been decimated by the world crisis.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.