Manchester United have revealed the club suffered a 19% drop in revenue for the 2019/20 season from £627.1m in 2018/19 down to £509m, highlighting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The club recorded an operating profit of just £5.2m, down from £50m the previous season, and an overall net loss of £23.2m, compared to a net profit of £18.9m for 2018/19.
Net debt stands at £474.1m, more than double the £203.6m it was 12 months ago.
The very beginnings of the impact of the crisis had already been seen in the financial figures for the three months ending 31 March 2020, when the club first confirmed a drop in revenue and loss.
The financial figures for the three months ending 30 June 2020 covers a period of time during which professional football in England was largely locked down. ‘Project Restart’ only began towards the end of June and clubs all over the country saw gaping holes emerge in their revenue streams.
As well as games being postponed, United also struggled with the forced closure of its Megastore, museum and tour operations and Red Café. But while commercial revenue from various partnerships has remained healthy overall, broadcasting and matchday incomes have been hit hard.
Broadcast revenue in particular accounts for the biggest fall – a drop of £101m from the previous season – partly because of the rebates owed due to the disruption of the campaign. The club also missed out on broadcast revenue because a number of games were delayed until the 2020/21 financial year and due to not competing in the Champions League.
“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,” Ed Woodward said.
“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.”