Manchester United have suffered an estimated £70 million loss in expected revenues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemics continued disruption on football.
The financial statement released on Wednesday revealed a £118.1 million loss in the financial year ending June 2020, which covers the complete shutdown of football in England in the final quarter.
The overall revenue downturn was at 18.8 per cent, from £627.1 million to £509 million, with £70 million of the revenue drop being directly attributed to the impact of the pandemic, according to the Premier League side. Another factor for the revenue losses is expected to have come from the side not participating in the lucrative UEFA Champions League competition last season.
The accounts also showed that net debt had risen by 132.9 per cent from the previous year to £474.1 million, however, this was confirmed to be due to a reduction in cash reserves, therefore making the principle debt the same.
Upon the resumption of the Premier League, United only had one home game, two away fixtures and an away FA Cup quarter-final match before the end of June, prompting the club to comment: “This significantly impacted fiscal 2020 broadcasting revenue, recognised when home and away matches are played, and matchday revenue, given the remaining matches have been played behind closed doors. Furthermore, broadcasting revenues have been significantly impacted by rebates due to broadcasters following disruption of the 2019-20 competitions.”
It has also been confirmed that United paid £23.23 million in share dividends, which are mainly received by club owners, the Glazer family.
United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward advocated that the UK government considered re-introducing fans in stadiums, much like has been seen around Europe.
"If people are allowed to sit in a plane for hours, or in the cinema, or even watch football in a cinema why not outside in a stadium environment which is professionally managed and controlled." said Woodward.
Manchester United have found themselves in the news recently, linked with plans to shakeup the English football pyramid, through Project Big Picture and talks of the European Super League.
Woodward claimed that the club played an “active role” in the Project Big Picture plans but distanced United from any reports of the creation of European Premier League.
“There will always be intense debate around any changes to the structure of football, just as there was before the formation of the Premier League 28 years ago.
“Now, at this critical juncture for the game, we must ensure that the huge success of the Premier League is reinforced while ensuring that the wider football pyramid continues to thrive in a rapidly changing media environment. Achieving this will require strategic vision and leadership.
"We are pleased that the Premier League has committed to work together on a plan for the future structures and financing of English football. Now it must deliver on that promise, and we are committed to playing a leading role in pushing that process towards a successful outcome."
Meanwhile, Manchester United have announced an extension to their front of shirt partnership with Chevrolet for a further six months, now set to expire on 31st December 2021.
Author: Jake Wilkin