Manchester United, the world’s wealthiest football club, achieved record annual revenues last season, but earnings and profits fell amid mixed results on the pitch.
The team finished the 2017-18 season second in the English Premier League, a vast improvement from its sixth place the previous year, helping the club gain a £10m boost in broadcast income from the league.
But its financial performance was also hit by the team’s struggles in European competition.
Despite returning to the Champions League, Europe’s most prestigious club tournament, after a season’s absence, the team was knocked out in the round of 16 – a relatively early stage of the competition.
By comparison, Manchester United won the Europa League in the 2016-17 season, which meant last season’s failure resulted in less broadcasting income from Uefa, European football’s governing body, as well as a drop in match day income, as the club played fewer matches in continental tournaments.
On Thursday, Manchester United released its full-year results for the year to June 30 2018. Revenues increased 1.5 per cent from the previous season to £590m.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 11.4 per cent, however, to £177.1m, while operating profits fell 45.4 per cent to £44.1m.
The club projected that revenues would increase again this season to between £615-£630m. This is due to expected increases in income from new broadcasting rights deals in England and in Europe, as well as commercial partners continuing to see the value in coining sponsorship deals with one of the world’s most famous clubs.
But, once again, its finances may come under pressure due to the team’s travails. Led by manager José Mourinho, the side is currently in seventh position in the Premier League having lost two matches, while rivals Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have got away to undefeated starts to this season.
“Everyone at the club is working tirelessly to add to Manchester United’s 66 and Jose’s 25 trophies,” said Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman of Manchester United. “That is what our passionate fans and our history demands”.
“Our increased revenue expectation for the year demonstrates our continued strong long-term financial performance which underpins everything we do and allows us to compete for top talent in an increasingly competitive transfer market.”
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