Manchester United lost £70 million in 2020 due to COVID-19

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Manchester United lost £70 million during the 2019-2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic that affected the smooth flow of football across Europe, the Premier League in particular.

Manchester United expected to generate £580 million in revenue last season. But the club ended up generating only £509 million in revenue before the season ended in July. This means that Manchester United’s expected revenue dropped by £70 million.

Manchester United started experiencing this loss in revenue heavily between mid-March 2020 and mid-June when the Premier League and every other form of professional football in Europe were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The loss in revenue continues for the Red Devils even after the Premier League restarted in mid-June because the remaining fixtures of the league had to be played behind closed doors. Hence, Manchester United lost revenue in the sales of matchday tickets since fans were not allowed into match venues.

Manchester United lost £70 million in 2020 due to COVID-19
The executive vice-chairman of Manchester United Ed Woodward

To make matters worse for Manchester United, the club had to refund payments from sponsors and broadcasters because the pandemic affected the regular schedule of Premier League matches.

Besides all the areas mentioned above, Manchester United expected a drop in revenue at the end of the 2019-2020 season because they did not play in the UEFA Champions League which is more financially rewarding.

However, the club had the opportunity to make some good money since they were able to play in three finals – Europa League final, EFL Cup final, and FA Cup final. They also finished third on the league table. But this did not account for much revenue because the matches were played behind closed doors.

Based on Manchester United’s financial statement for the 2018-2019 season, the club generated £627.1 million in revenue and made £18.9 million in profits. But last season, despite making just £509 million in revenue, the club net loss was £23.2 million.

With the high rate of loss Manchester United suffered, the club’s debt rate is still rising. According to the club’s financial statement for last season, Manchester United is currently owing £474.1 million.

Amidst all these financial setbacks, Manchester United have extended their shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet by 6-months. This means that the club’s deal with the car manufacturing company will expire in December 2021.

Meanwhile, the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United Ed Woodward has confirmed that the club played a prominent role in the formation of the failed Project Big Picture but argued that he didn’t know anything in regards to the proposed European Premier League.

The Project Big Picture which sought to give more power to the top 6 clubs in the Premier League and reduce the number of clubs in the league from 20 to 18 was rejected by all the clubs in the league.

While the European Premier League is allegedly backed by FIFA and sought to create a European League that will rival the UEFA Champions League.