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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Broadcasting cash offsets Man Utd’s Covid losses


Manchester United has revealed that broadcasting revenues helped to soften the financial hit from the pandemic.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, the club earned £254.8 million from broadcasters, an increase of 81.7 percent over the previous year’s £140.2 million.

However, because of Covid, matchday revenues fell from £89.8 million to £7.1 million.

Ed Woodward stated that he was “more confident than ever” that the club was “on the right track” after signing players such as Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

Ronaldo, a club legend, returned to United after leaving in 2009. Man United will pay Juventus an initial €15 million (£12.8 million) for the striker’s services as part of a five-year deal worth up to €23 million.

The Ronaldo deal, as well as the signings of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, and Tom Heaton, were “made possible by the strength of our operating model, with sustained investment in the team underpinned by robust commercial revenues,” according to Mr Woodward, executive vice chairman.

“While the financial impact of the pandemic is visible, our underlying strength remains visible, and everyone associated with the club can be proud of the resilience we have shown through these most trying of times,” he said.

“These signings demonstrate our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, as well as our firm commitment to assisting Ole in delivering success on the field.”

The club’s total revenue for the year fell from £509 million to £494.1 million.

United reported a net loss of £92.2 million for the period, up from £23.2 million in 2020, owing largely to the accounting impact of a £66.6 million tax charge.

Last year, United reported a £70 million drop in expected revenue, from £627.1 million to £509 million, as a direct result of the pandemic.

While Manchester United is “confident,” Mr Woodward stated that “football as a whole faces major financial challenges caused by years of material inflation in wages and transfer fees, exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic.”

“We are committed to working with Premier League, ECA, and UEFA to promote greater financial sustainability at all levels of the game,” he said.

“Global demand for live football is as strong as it has ever been, as evidenced by recent domestic and international broadcasting rights deals and record engagement with our own club content.”

“However, no club can succeed on its own.” We want to be a part of healthy, vibrant domestic and European football pyramids, working with our governing bodies and, most importantly, fans to preserve and enhance the magic of our game.”

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