Manchester United chief Richard Arnold has promised fans that the club are focused on winning matches and playing entertaining football after they released their financial results for the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year. The results showed that the Red Devils lost more than £2million per week between the start of July last year and the end of June this year.
“Our club’s core mission is to win football matches and entertain our fans,” said Arnold. “Since our last earnings report, we have strengthened our men’s first-team squad, completed a successful summer tour, and established a foundation to build from in the early stages of the 2022-23 season under our new manager Erik ten Hag.
“We have also continued to develop our women’s team with an aim of reinforcing our position among the leading clubs in the Women’s Super League. Ultimately, we know that the strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our fans, which is why we have made fan engagement a strategic priority.
“While there is a lot more work to do, everyone at the club is aligned on a clear strategy to deliver sustained success on the pitch and a sustainable economic model off it, to the mutual benefit of fans, shareholders, and other stakeholders.”
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United brought in £257.8m of commercial revenue, £214.9m of broadcasting revenue and £110.5m of matchday revenue to give them a total revenue of £583.2m during their last financial year. But, remarkably, their appetite for spending means the club still made an overall loss of £115.5m.
The Red Devils’ wage bill during that period was a whopping £384m. And, according to The Times, that figure is more than any other club has spent on wages in a year in Premier League history. Despite their spending, the 13-time Premier League champions finished last season empty-handed and missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing sixth in the top-flight. Their paucity of silverware actually saved them money on the salary front as many of their players have bonuses for winning competitions.
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Despite the alarming losses, United’s chief financial officer Cliff Baty insists there are brighter days ahead financially. “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,” he stated.
“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. Looking forward to fiscal 2023, the club is guiding to revenues of £580 million to £600 million despite participation in the Europa League, and adjusted EBITDA of £100 million to £110 million, reflecting the continued playing squad investment.”
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