Manchester United’s net debt has risen by over £100million, with projected revenue for 2020 also dropping.
The club released a financial statement on Monday morning, posting revenues of £135.4m for the first quarter of 2019-20.
The figures represent a £400,000 increase on the same period for the previous year. Commercial revenue was £80.4m, a 5.9 per cent increase on the previous year.
With the club missing out on Champions League football this season, United expect 2020 annual revenue to be between £560-580m – a drop compared to £627.1m for the year ending June 30, 2019.
However, United also confirmed that a lack of Champions League participation was the main reason behind the club’s wage bill dropping by 8.8 per cent, “primarily due to reductions in player salaries as a result of non-participation” in the tournament.
And the club’s net debt has risen sharply from £247.1m to £384.5m – an increase of 55.5 per cent.
Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £32.9m, a 23.1 per cent and £9.9m drop on the same quarter the year before.
The figures cover the period July 1, 2019 to September 30 of this year.
There has been much speculation in the press that the club may be the target of a potential takeover by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, though the Glazer family are not currently thought to be looking to sell.
United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, said: “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 Red Devils have been true to their word in terms of handing chances to young players, with the club’s most recent match – a 2-0 win over Brighton – seeing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer field four academy graduates (Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford and Brandon Williams) with two more (Mason Greenwood and Jesse Lingard) coming off the bench.
However, the club’s transfer policy has come in for fierce criticism since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013, with plenty of high-profile, expensive failures reflecting poorly on Woodward.
United’s three summer signings – Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James – all look solid acquisitions following bright starts this season, and Woodward has embraced Solskjaer’s desire to sign younger players with high potential rather than attempt to mimic Real Madrid’s ‘Galactico’ policy.
Additional reporting by PA.
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