Q3 loss for Manchester United despite Covid recovery

Manchester United made a loss for the three months to the end of March 2022.

The Old Trafford club saw losses widen by 0.9% to £21.8m while revenues were up 29% to £152.8m, largely due to the return of supporters to Old Trafford following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commercial revenue grew to £65.6m from £58.1m last year, while matchday revenue surged to £35.7m, up £34.1m due to all nine home games being played in front of a full capacity crowd.

All twelve home games in the prior year quarter were played behind closed doors.

Net Debt as of 31 March 2022 was £495.7m, compared with £443.5m for the same period last year.

The Club said its costs rose to £175.4m, an increase of £36.8m, or 26.6%, over the prior year quarter.

Its wage bill for the quarter were £101.8m, an increase of £16.6m, or 19.5%, due to investment in the first team playing squad.

The third quarter financial results come after United finished the Premier League season in sixth position, having come second last year.

CEO Richard Arnold said he was left reflecting on a “disappointing” season for the men’s first team.

“Work is well underway to address this, led by our football director, John Murtough and our new manager, Erik ten Hag,” he said.

Resilience and high standards are core values for Manchester United, and we are determined to achieve better results next season and beyond.

“Faith in youth is another key tenet of the club and the continued success of our academy gives us confidence in the future.

“Looking at the wider football landscape, we have seen significant developments in the reform of FIFA’s Agent Regulations, access criteria for UEFA club competitions post-2024 and UEFA Financial Fair Play rules. Overall, these changes demonstrate a welcome trend towards stronger governance and greater financial sustainability in European football.

“Off the pitch, our revenues have continued to recover from the pandemic, reflecting the enduring strength of our commercial operations, which in turn support our ability to continue to invest in the club.”

A semi-annual cash dividend of $0.09 per share will be paid on 24 June 2022.