Manchester United suffered a £70m drop in revenue in the period to 30 June 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.
United’s overall revenue was down 18.8% from £627.1m to £509m, but part of this was due to the club not qualifying for last season’s Champions League. In last year’s statement, United had estimated revenues could reach £580m.
Overall, United made a net £18.9m profit in 2018-19 and a net £23.2m loss in the most recent financial year.
It was also confirmed within the results that the Glazers still took an additional £23.23m out of the club in the form of share dividends.
Speaking on Wednesday’s conference call with investors, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward urged the UK government to follow examples around Europe in allowing fans back “as soon as it is safe to do so” and said the “inconsistencies” in the rules were “frustrating”.
“If people are allowed to sit in a plane for hours, or in the cinema, or even watch football in a cinema why not outside in a stadium environment which is professionally managed and controlled.” said Woodward.
He also confirmed the club played an “active role” in plans know as Project Big Picture, which was rejected by Premier League clubs last week.
“There will always be intense debate around any changes to the structure of football, just as there was before the formation of the Premier League 28 years ago,” added Woodward.
“Now, at this critical juncture for the game, we must ensure that the huge success of the Premier League is reinforced while ensuring that the wider football pyramid continues to thrive in a rapidly changing media environment. Achieving this will require strategic vision and leadership.
“We are pleased that the Premier League has committed to work together on a plan for the future structures and financing of English football. Now it must deliver on that promise, and we are committed to playing a leading role in pushing that process towards a successful outcome.”
All areas of United’s income have been affected but broadcasting revenues were especially badly hit, reducing 41.9% from £240.2m to £141.2m.
The club also confirmed net finance costs had increased by £3.5m to £26m. However, officials have stressed that despite the enormous rise in United’s debt, up 132.9% to £474.1m, this was due to a reduction in cash reserves and the principal debt remains unchanged.
United has also announced a six-month extension to their shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, which is now due to expire on 31 December 2021.