Manchester United officials are trying to spin today’s financial results for the year ended June 30. But even they cannot spin away a couple of important numbers:
- Profit was £23m thanks to £28m tax credit. Without that, United have a £5m LOSS
- Total revenue fell by £10m (3.3%) to £320.3m as a result of United’s early exit from the Champions League
- Commercial revenue was up 13.7% to £117.6m
- Broadcast revenue was down 11.3% to £104m
- Matchday revenue down 10.9% to £98.7m.
- Net cash spend on transfer was £49.6m. The net cost to finance the Glazers debt was £49.5m
Instead, what United and the Glazers want you to focus on is the fact that for the first time, revenue from commercial income exceeded that from broadcast and matchday income.
United’s earnings from commercial operations, which includes sponsorship, hit a record £117.6m, up 13.7% about which a United spokesman said:
“The results are consistent with what we expected. We strongly believe the outstanding results in the commercial sector demonstrate the huge potential the club has, and the financial outlook is very positive.”
A Manchester United plc statement said:
“Broadcasting revenues for the year decreased… primarily as a result of our elimination at the group stages of the Champions League.
“For the fourth quarter, revenues decreased 37.4% to £27.5 million as no participation fees were earned compared to Champions League participation fees from the quarter-final, semi-final and final in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
“In addition, we earned minimal revenues from the FA Cup following our fourth round exit, compared with reaching the semi-final in the previous year.
“Matchday revenues for the year decreased… as a result of having played four fewer home games compared with the prior season when we also received a share of the gate receipts from the Champions League final and FA Cup semi-final, both of which were held at Wembley Stadium.”
Different spin on different things. United’s commercial revenue of £117.6m alone, is more money than half the clubs Premier League take in from all sources. And that number will continue to grow once United’s new deal with Chevy kicks in.
But United are not just competing with other Premier League clubs. They are also competing globally with the other big names in European football, and it cannot be overlooked that last week, Real Madrid announced revenues for the same period of €514 million (£413m). That is almost £100m more in revenue in 12 months than Man United made.