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Manchester United reveal debt has risen to £429m as Ed Woodward warns ‘the crisis will not disappear overnight’.


Manchester United’s net debt has increased to £429million as their latest financial figures revealed how much the coronavirus pandemic has hit the club.

The Red Devils last played ten weeks ago, when they thrashed LASK behind closed doors in a Europa League round-of-16 clash, before football was suspended because of COVID-19.

The Premier League was halted the day after their European tie, and that has taken its toll on the balance sheet, with United no longer predicting the revenues of up to £580m forecast in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.

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Man United have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic

Instead, United said in their third quarter result that they were withdrawing their previous guidance ‘given ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19 and the evolving related economic and financial consequences’.

United recorded an overall loss of £3.3m between January 1 to March 31, which was primarily down to the 51.7 per cent decrease in broadcast revenue.

At £26m compared to £53.8m the previous year, United said that was ‘primarily due to an estimated £15m 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’.

United expect to pay a £20m rebate to broadcasters this year, with the £15m reduction mentioned in the results reflecting the 29 games played to-date.

Revenue has dropped 18.7 per cent over the prior year quarter to £123.7m as debt rose 42.2 per cent to £429.1m.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward warned football will not the same after the coronavirus crisis, but believes United are well placed to emerge stronger.

“Our focus remains on the health and well-being of our colleagues, fans and partners around the world and we are extremely proud of how those connected to the club have responded during this crisis,” he said.


“Since the start of the pandemic, Manchester United and our Foundation have provided assistance to hospitals, charities and schools in our communities, as well as support for frontline workers and vulnerable fans.

“These actions reflect our core values as a club and the resilience through adversity that we have demonstrated many times throughout our long history and will do so again to weather these current challenges.

“In that spirit, we look forward to the team safely returning to the pitch and building on the exciting momentum that Ole and the players had previously achieved, while taking all necessary steps to protect public health.

“Our thoughts remain with all those affected during this unprecedented time.”

Woodward believes domestic football will resume next month, but the United executive vice-chairman warned the ‘crisis will not disappear overnight’.

“While it is too soon to know with any certainty if, or when, these measures can fully be relaxed, we are optimistic that it will soon be possible to resume playing football,” he said.

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“Our men’s first-team has begun a phased return to training this week, with rigorous medical protocols in place to manage risks. Subject to Government and Premier League shareholder approval, including input from medical staff and players, we anticipate domestic games could restart again in June.

“All indications from UEFA are that the culmination of the Europa League could be during August.”

Woodward says they have been encouraged by the return of the Bundesliga, with it “now inevitable that our matches will initially be played behind closed doors when the season resumes”.

He hopes it will allow them to “complete all of its competitions in the 2019-20 season by the end of August, and to start next season in time to target completion of next season still in May 2021.”

“We must recognise that this crisis will not disappear overnight and that the world which emerges will be different from how it was before,” Woodward added. “That will create challenges for football, like many other industries, but it also brings an opportunity for innovation and creativity as we explore options for resuming football in ways that still protect public health.”




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