Premier League football club Manchester United saw £70m in lost revenue during the 2019-20 season, with matchday revenue down by a fifth due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club had forecast revenues of between £560m and £580m for last season, but ended up earning £509m. The fall from £627.1m over the previous 12 months marks Manchester United’s lowest figure for five years.
The English top tier club, which calls the 76,000-capacity Old Trafford its home, totalled its net loss at £23.2m in the year to June 30, compared to profits of almost £19m in the same period last year.
The COVID-19 lockdown, which halted the 2019-20 Premier League season in its tracks in March and later restarted the season behind closed doors, affected broadcast revenues in particular, which plummeted more than 40 per cent to £140.2m. In addition, matchday revenue was down 19 per cent reflecting the loss of ticket sales and supporters at games.
Matchday revenue for the three months to June 30 was £5.5m, a decrease of 77 per cent, over the prior year quarter, primarily due three Premier League home matches and the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 home match deferred into fiscal 2021 and one Premier League home match played behind closed doors in June 2020.
Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman of Manchester United, said: “Our focus remains on protecting the health of our colleagues, fans and community while adapting to the significant economic ramifications of the pandemic.
“Within that context, our top priority is to get fans back into the stadium safely and as soon as possible. We are also committed to playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid through this period of adversity, while exploring options for making the English game stronger and more sustainable in the long-term.
“This requires strategic vision and leadership from all stakeholders, and we look forward to helping drive forward that process in a timely manner. On the pitch, we have strengthened the team over the summer and we remain committed to our objective of winning trophies, playing entertaining, attacking football with a blend of Academy graduates and high-quality recruits, while carefully managing our resources to protect the long-term resilience of the Club.”
The government has delayed plans to allow English clubs to welcome fans back, with the government suggesting it could now be March 2021 at the earliest before sport sees the return of its supporters.
The new Government restrictions forced Manchester United to ditch its plans for a trial return of up to 12,000 fans in their opening match against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford last month.