Manchester United have released their full year fiscal 2021 results which reveal the seismic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Red Devils recorded a £92.2m net loss for the 12 months leading up to 30 June 2021, while the club accrued an operating loss of nearly £36.9m. Net debt at the club has decreased by 11.5%, though, down to £419.5m, and total revenue for the year came in just under the £500m mark.
Matchday revenue was just £7.1m compared to £89.8m the previous year, a small insight into the extraordinary amount of income lost without fans being able to attend games. In terms of player wages, United's bill rose by 13.6% to £322.6m - primarily because of the club's qualification for the Champions League.
The importance of participating in the competition was highlighted further by the increase in broadcasting revenue, which raked in £254.8m for United - an increase of £114.6m (81.7%) on the previous season. Rescheduled games from the 2019/20 campaign are also factored into that figure, given the season was halted for three months between March 2020 and June 2020.
In addition to the club's finances being released, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward spoke to investors on his quarterly conference call. He outlined his belief that United's financial position is strong, all things considered, and touched on the club's summer business - which has seen Cristiano Ronaldo return, with Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane also arriving for big money.
Here are the highlights of what Woodward had to say.
Woodward on Man Utd's stability
“We said during the depths of the pandemic that the club would emerge in a stronger relative position, and I believe we are now seeing that borne out as we build towards recovery from a very solid foundation,” he said.
“The most important part of this recovery is the return of fans to Old Trafford and it has been fantastic to see and hear the stadium full for the first time in almost 18 months. The amazing atmosphere during the opening home games of the season demonstrates that fans are the lifeblood of the game, and we’re so glad to have them back."
Woodward on Man Utd's summer business
“We significantly strengthened the squad over the summer, with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton. These signings have demonstrated our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, and our firm commitment to helping Ole deliver success on the pitch.
“We have been clear in our strategy to build a squad with a blend of top-class recruits and homegrown talent, comprising a balance of youth and experience, with the aim of winning trophies and playing attacking football the Manchester United way.
“As part of this, we have continued to strengthen our recruitment and scouting processes, and we have also increased our investment in the Academy, to ensure that this success is sustainable. While squad-building is a constant process, we are more confident than ever that we are on the right track.”
Woodward on Man Utd's commitment to women's team
“We are firmly committed to continuing to build our presence in the women’s game."
Woodward on Man Utd's business model
“It is not an accident that we have been able to invest this summer at a time when many clubs have been retrenching. This reflects the strong commercial model we have built over many years, ensuring that our spending is always underpinned by revenues that we generate ourselves.
“However, while we are confident in our relative strength, it remains clear 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 within the Premier League, the ECA and UEFA to promote greater financial sustainability at all levels of the game.”
Woodward on the global interest in football
“No club can succeed on its own. We want to be part of healthy, vibrant domestic and European football pyramids, working together with our governing bodies and, most importantly, the fans, to preserve and enhance the magic of our game. As a club, we are committed to those objectives and we look forward to pursuing them in the months and years ahead.”