Manchester United are counting the cost of missing out on the Champions League
Manchester United are counting the cost of their disastrous 2021-22 season after concluding their absence from the Champions League will cost them a record turnover this season.
United only finished sixth last year after a troubled campaign under first Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick and they had a 32.1 per cent decline in their broadcasting revenue for the second quarter of the current financial year as they compete in the less lucrative Europa League.
The recent Carabao Cup winners, who posted a £6.3m profit for the three-month period, are on course to have an annual revenue of £590-£610m but believe it would surpass their highest ever total of £627m if they were in the Champions League. Their revenue, of £167m for the second quarter of the financial year, is 10 per cent lower than for the same period 12 months earlier, largely because they are in the Europa League now.
United’s wage bill dropped 21 per cent to £77m, in part because they were not paying Champions League bonuses, though their best-paid player, Cristiano Ronaldo, left part way through the financial quarter.
United have already sold a record 2.3 million tickets for Old Trafford this season and their commercial revenue is 22.2 per cent higher than for the equivalent time last season, while a decrease in matchday income is because they had fewer home games due to the World Cup.
United expect their overall income to rank among the highest in world football and feel their finances are in a strong state as they investigate a possible sale, with the Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim and the Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe in talks with the Glazer family.
United also owe £206m on a revolving credit facility - over £100m more than at the end of 2021. It reflects the need to pay instalments of transfer fees after heavy spending on Antony, Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez last summer. Their cash reserves were down to £31m by the end of December, from £87m a year earlier. However, United plan to pay off the £206m by June. They have paid no dividends in the last three months.
Their debt – which is held in American dollars - remains unchanged at $650m, though changes in the exchange rate means it is up to £535m but the finance costs of servicing it rose to £12.1m for the three-month period.