Manchester United make £3.3m financial loss in Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results

Manchester United have felt the financial pinch of the coronavirus crisis, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward vowing to “weather these challenges” as a return to action edges closer.

Woodward last month conceded United are not “immune” to the financial ramifications of the ongoing pandemic, although said the club can remain “highly competitive” in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Fewer games have been played in the third financial quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, with United making less money from broadcasting and matchday revenues.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team last played 10 weeks ago, when they thrashed LASK in a Europa League last-16 clash forced behind closed doors due to Covid-19 measures in Austria.

The Premier League was suspended the following day 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.

Instead, United said in their third quarter result 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, but Woodward believes United are well placed to bounce back.

“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,” Woodward 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.”

Premier League clubs have stepped up preparations for a return to action, with players back to team training this week.

(c) Sky Sports 2020: Manchester United make £3.3m financial loss in Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results

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