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Manchester United announce financial loss

Manchester United have announced that they made a net loss of £115.5m during the 2021-22 financial year despite its total revenue rising by 18% to £583.2m.

The net loss figure represents an increase on the £92.2m posted in the 12 months ended June 30, 2021. United’s total revenue for the 2020-21 financial year stood at £494.1m.

The 2021-22 season saw the return of full-capacity crowds to Old Trafford, which led to United’s match-day revenue jumping from £7.1m to £110.5m.

The club’s commercial revenue also rose from £232.2m to £257.8m, while its broadcast revenue dropped from £254.8m to £214.9m. United noted that the decrease in broadcasting revenue was primarily due to playing 22 fewer home and away matches across all competitions compared to the prior year, which was impacted by the elongated 2019-20 season.

The commercial revenue (£257.8m) was split as £147.9m from sponsorship, a year-on-year rise of 5.5 per cent, and £109.9m from retail, merchandising, apparel and product licensing, up by 19.5 per cent on the previous 12 months primarily due to the closure of the megastore in the prior year and return of supporters to matches.

United’s net debt increased by almost £100m, from £419.5m in 2020-21 to £514.9m in 2021-22. Total operating expenses for the year were £692.6m, an increase of £154.2m on the previous year, while employee benefit expenses – the club’s wage bill – stood at £384.2m, an increase of £61.6m.

The club attributed the increased wage bill due to investment in the first team playing squad, with Antony, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia all joining over the summer.

Exceptional items for the year totalled £24.7m, which includes compensation for former managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, as well as certain members of the playing, coaching and scouting staff, and certain non-playing staff.

Cliff Baty, United’s chief financial officer, said: “Our financial results for fiscal 2022 reflect a recovery from the pandemic, a full return of fans and new commercial partnerships offset by increased investment in the playing squad.

“Our results have been adversely affected by the absence of a summer tour in July 2021, material exceptional and increased utility costs, and the impact of the weakening of sterling on our non-cash finance costs.

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