Early Champions League exit costs Manchester United

Updated: September 19, 2012

Manchester United’s failure to make it out of the group stages of last season’s Champions’ League has been blamed for the drop in the club’s income last year.

The club’s annual financial results were published today and reveal that United’s total income fell to £320.3 million for the year ending 30 June 2012. That represents a decrease of 3.3% from 2011’s levels.

Although income has fallen off slightly, the figures show that the club made a small profit of £28 million over the 12 months. However most of that profit came from a tax credit and without that rebate the club would actually have made a small loss of £5 million for the year.

A spokesperson for the club said that the results were in line with what Manchester United’s board had been anticipating.

“The results are consistent with what we expected. We strongly believe the outstanding results in the commercial sector demonstrate the huge potential the club has, and the financial outlook is very positive.”

The end of year results also illustrate that for the first time ever the club is generating more revenue from its commercial interests than from match days and broadcasting rights.

Manchester United’s commercial revenue was up by almost 14% to £117.6m whereas matchday revenue fell by 10.9% to £98.7m and broadcasting revenue decreased by 11.3% to £104 million.

Again Manchester United attributed this decrease to the club falling out of the Champions’ league before Christmas and their early exit from the FA Cup.

In a statement Manchester United plc said:” Broadcasting revenues for the year decreased… primarily as a result of our elimination at the group stages of the Champions League.

“In addition, we earned minimal revenues from the FA Cup following our fourth round exit, compared with reaching the semi-final in the previous year.

“Matchday revenues for the year decreased… as a result of having played four fewer home games compared with the prior season when we also received a share of the gate receipts from the Champions League final and FA Cup semi-final, both of which were held at Wembley Stadium.”

In response to the publication of the report, United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, issued a statement to the New York Stock Exchange highlighting the positive aspects of the club’s current financial position. He also reiterated the owners’ commitment to investing in the club, highlighting the purchase of Robin Van Persie as a statement of their strong desire to strengthen Manchester United on and off the field.

“Our world-record 559m dollar shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet and the Premier League’s new £1bn a year UK television rights deal (a 70% increase) highlight the outstanding growth prospects for the future.

“We also expect a substantial increase in the value of the Premier League’s international television contracts scheduled to be announced later this year.”

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