Coronavirus: Lockdown costs Manchester United £28m, but losses mount

Manchester United reported an initial £28m in losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with losses expected to rise further.

United revealed their third-quarter results to the end of March on Thursday, revealing the club’s debt had rocketed by £127.4m ($156m) to £429.1m ($525m) in the space of 12 months. There was a warning to investors that the Premier League will get back as much as £20m ($25m) for broadcasting rights-holders this season.

The club lost an additional £8m ($9.7m) over the final three weeks of March when three matches were postponed. A total of 11 Manchester Utd games have been postponed because of the pandemic.

Manchester Utd stock chart

Chief Financial Officer, Cliff Baty, said they are set to hand back £20m ($24.4m) in TV revenue to broadcasters even if the Premier League season is completed.

“There are still profound challenges ahead,” Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said on a conference call on Thursday. “For football as a whole, it is safe to say it will not be ‘business as usual’ for some time.”

An increasing number of European clubs have sought out loan deals because of the lack of money available to spend on transfer fees this summer.

The cancellation of games – including matches in the Europa League and FA Cup – has seen sponsorship revenues  “contract”, according to Baty. Equally, the retail sales have been “impacted” as well with the club store at Old Trafford still closed.

He added that matchday revenues were “significantly impacted”, with acceptance games will be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.

United have refused to put a figure on what the anticipated overall financial cost of the pandemic will be. According to executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward – the major burden would fall in the current quarter, which runs to 30 June.

Analysts see Manchester United as more capable of weathering the coronavirus storm when it comes to the hit on club finances, but the sport is facing a crisis from top to bottom.

As the football and live sports sector adjust to life post-lockdown, a rise in eSports and streaming services is attracting funding and investments. Compare stock brokers and use one of the best free apps to trade stocks.

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Galina Mikova

Galina is a Hubspot-certified Technical Writer with over 10 years of experience in working with Fortune 500, private investment, banking, FOREX and niche tech companies as well as crypto and blockchain startups. She has a solid background in FinTech and blockchain technology.

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