Manchester United posted a £21.6 million loss in the first three months of 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic meant fans were unable to attend Premier League games.
Representing a 4.4% increase compared to the same period in 2020, the club recorded £118.3 million in revenue for the third quarter of the financial year up until 31 March, after United finished second in the Premier League
However, the top-flight runners-up saw matchday revenue dive from £29.1 million to £1.6 million in comparison to the previous period, resulting in a £21.6 million operating loss, with lockdown measures meaning stadiums remained empty.
Furthermore, the results demonstrated a £10.7 million dividend payment, whilst net debt came to £443.5 million.
“The absence of fans over the past year has proved that they are the lifeblood of the game,” the outgoing Executive Vice-Chairman, Ed Woodward, said in a statement.
“Following the successful return of limited numbers at the end of last season, and continued trials of increased crowds at sports events this summer, we remain optimistic about the prospect of fans returning to Old Trafford in larger numbers going forwards.
“With the foundations for long-term success in place, including significant initiatives to strengthen engagement with our supporters, we look forward to the upcoming season.”
Earlier in the month, Executive Co-Chairman, Joel Glazer announced the formation of a Fan Advisory Board and Fan Share Scheme as part of a new equity structure.
In the wake of the European Super League (ESL) collapse, Manchester United said it ‘would establish a foundation for supporters to build a meaningful ownership stake and create a new spirit of partnership with the club’.