Manchester United have announced that their debt has surpassed £474 million after an increase of 133 per cent in the latest round of financial results.
United saw a £23.2 million loss accumulated for the 2019-20 season, which was due mainly to 41.9 per cent drop in broadcasting income.
The overall income has taken a huge hit amid the increasing strain of the coronavirus pandemic but an £11 million extension with shirt sponsor Chevrolet for another six months is thought to be “a pragmatic solution for both parties” amid the backdrop of the pandemic.
Revenue dropped by 19 per cent to £509 million and it was another difficult read for United supporters in what has been a tricky year of rising debt and diminishing revenue.
“Our focus remains on the health of our colleagues, fans and community while adapting to the significant economic ramifications of the pandemic,” executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said following the release.
Back in May, United revealed that their debt had risen by 42 per cent as figures showed the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Broadcasting, matchday and retail revenue were down by more than £30 million in the first three months of 2020.
Those figures showed United’s net debt had shot up by £127.4 million to £429.1 million.
Such figures saw United withdraw their previous revenue forecast of between £560 million and £580 million for the year “given ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19 and the evolving related economic and financial consequences”.
Woodward warned at the May release that things could continue to get worse from a financial stand-point with fans remaining unable to return to games in any capacity.
Retail revenue dropped by £1.1 million due to the closure of the club’s megastore and that continued with fans being kept away due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases in England.
The last round of figures showed that United’s gross debt had not changed but the net debt (calculated as gross debt minus cash reserves) rose significantly.
That was because the club’s cash balance dropped to £90.3 million, in part due to paying Leicester City £80 million up front for captain Harry Maguire and the first instalment on Bruno Fernandes’s £46.6 million initial fee from Sporting Lisbon.