Issuing its latest Q1 financial results, Manchester United revealed that the club’s net debt has risen by 55% from £247.2m to £384.5m.
The news comes in spite of the club detailing the commercial revenue of the club increased by 5.9%, with a myriad of deals strengthening the club’s portfolio of partners. These included fruitful deals with the Maltese Government, Yabo Sport and Konami.
Ed Woodward, Executive Vice Chairman, commented: “We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment. The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our Academy are already beginning to bear fruit.
“We are very proud to be shortly approaching a milestone 4,000th game featuring an Academy player, and we are particularly optimistic regarding the considerable young talent currently coming through. Our ultimate goal is to win trophies by playing exciting football with a team that fuses graduates from our Academy with world-class acquisitions.”
The broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £32.9 million, a decrease of £9.9 million, or 23.1%, over the prior year quarter, primarily due to the club not qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
Guaranteed UEFA broadcasting revenues are typically recognised evenly over the course of the competition’s group stages. The majority of the full year revenue impact of non-participation in the UEFA Champions League will therefore occur in Q2, when 5 of the 6 group matches will be played.
The club also revealed that employee benefit expenses for the quarter reduced to £70.2 million, an 8.8% decrease of £6.8 million, mainly due to reductions in player salaries as a result of non-participation in the UEFA Champions League.
Insider Insight: The results truly highlight the significance of qualification Europe’s top tier competition. It means that United will be deeply focused on getting a top four spot, or winning the Europa League this season, in order to regain a Champions League place.