Manchester United suffered a net loss of £92.2m in the 12 months ending 30 June 2021, an increase of nearly £60m on the previous financial year, and the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said the pandemic had made the period among the “most challenging” in the club’s history.
The scale of the loss is understood to be largely down to a £66.6m non-cash tax charge, caused by an increase in the UK corporate tax rate, in relation to the US rate. In the year ending June 2020 United’s net loss was £23.2m. The net debt decreased from £471.1m to £419.5m in the most recent financial year and an operating loss of £36.9m was recorded.
“As we review our financial results, there is little doubt that those 12 months were among the most challenging in the history of Manchester United,” said Woodward. “While the financial impact from the pandemic is visible, our continued underlying strength is also clear to see and everyone associated with the club can be proud of the resilience we have shown through these most testing of times.
“We said during the depths of the pandemic that the club would emerge in a stronger relative position, and I believe we are now seeing that borne out as we build towards recovery from a very solid foundation.”
United’s wage bill increased 13.6% to £322.6m “primarily due to higher contracted player wages” for participation in this season’s Champions League, the accounts stated.
Richard Arnold, the group managing director, denied Cristiano Ronaldo had been signed for commercial reasons. “Our focus is on signing players to make sure that they deliver on the pitch and then maximising the opportunity afterwards,” he said.