By Paul Nicholson
May 21 – Manchester United’s third quarter financial release has revealed that the loss of broadcast revenue due to a broadcaster rebate following failure to complete fixtures is about £15 million, putting the overall Premier League rebate at about £300 million.
Man Utd said that the £26 million broadcast revenue for the quarter ended March 31, was “a decrease of £27.8 million, or 51.7%, over the prior year quarter, primarily due to an estimated £15.0m Premier League rebate due to broadcasters, following delay and broadcast schedule changes to the 2019/20 football season, non-participation in the UEFA Champions League, and the impact of playing two fewer Premier League away games.”
Elsewhere the club’s commercial revenue for the quarter was £68.6 million, an increase of £2million, or 3.0%, over the prior year quarter, while sponsorship revenue at £44.7 million, was an increase of £3.1 million, or 7.5%, over the prior year quarter. Merchandising and licensing dropped £1.1 million to £23.9 million.
Overall the club made a £3.3 million loss over the quarter compared to a 14,2 million profit last year. For the nine months of the financial year to date the club profit stands at £44.2 million compared to £72.1 million last year.
The club is not having to hit the financial panic button, saying: “As of 31 March 2020, the Company had £90.3m of cash balances together with access to an additional £150m available under the Company’s revolving credit facility. This provides financial flexibility to support the Club through the disruption caused by COVID-19.”
Outlining the impact of the pandemic, the club pointed to the obvious disruption in broadcast and match day revenues as well as the closure of business to its Megastore, museum, Stadium tour and Red Café.
The club has undertaken a programme “of donations to foodbanks and outreach to elderly and disabled supporters.” It has also committed more than £1 million to community initiatives including supplying 60,000 meals for health workers.
Ed Woodward, Executive Vice Chairman, said, “Our focus remains on the health and well-being of our colleagues, fans and partners around the world and we are extremely proud of how those connected to the club have responded during this crisis. Since the start of the pandemic, Manchester United and our Foundation have provided assistance to hospitals, charities and schools in our communities, as well as support for frontline workers and vulnerable fans. These actions reflect our core values as a club and the resilience through adversity that we have demonstrated many times throughout our long history and will do so again to weather these current challenges.”
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