The COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the entire world and putting a halt to most business activities, has affected a lot of companies and created revenue loss going into billions of Naira. This much has been confirmed by the Management of the English Premier League football club, Manchester United, as they declared that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost the club a whopping £28 million, an equivalent of more than ₦13.2 billion (₦ 13,292,440,000 exactly). And that is not the end; they are forecasting that it is most likely to cost them extra more!
Exactly 11 Manchester United FC matches have been postponed because of the pandemic. TV broadcast is a major income earner for elite football clubs. It generates plenty of revenue and also attracts commercials and interests from sundry sponsors.
Manchester United revealed their third-quarter results to 31 March on Thursday. The Chief Financial Officer, Cliff Baty, said they must hand back £20m in TV revenue to broadcasters even if the Premier League season is completed. He said also, that United lost an extra £8m over the final three weeks of March, when they had three matches postponed.
The BBC revealed that Baty via a conference call after the latest financial results were released, explained that Premier League television broadcasters would get £20m back from the club because of changes in dates and kick-off times resulting from the pandemic.
With games called off – including matches in the Europa League and FA Cup – Baty said that sponsorship revenues had “contracted”, and that retail sales had been “impacted” with the club store at Old Trafford still closed.
He added that matchday revenues were “significantly impacted”, with an acceptance games will be played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.
Postponement of Tottenham game ‘cost £4m’
United have refused to put a figure on what the anticipated overall financial cost of the pandemic will be ultimately – but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said the major burden would fall in the current quarter, which runs to 30 June.
“Our third-quarter results reflect a partial impact that the pandemic has had on the club but the greater impact will be in the current quarter and likely beyond,” said Woodward.
Revenues for the quarter fell by 18.7% to £123.7m. The club’s debt rose by £124.4m to £429.1m.
Baty said the postponement of the Premier League trip to Tottenham on 15 March cost United £4m alone.
“These are unprecedented times and we must recognise that this crisis will not disappear overnight,” said Woodward.
“However, our club is built on a solid foundation. We remain firmly optimistic about the long-term prospects for the club once we have worked our way through what is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and testing periods in the 142-year history of Manchester United.”
This is not a comfortable news for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United FC legend and current Head Coach and Manager, who would be aiming to be active in the transfer market when the window eventually opens. The club currently sits fifth in the Premier League table and would love to qualify for the UEFA Champions League which is a great avenue for revenue for the company. If it eventually happens, they may require major activities in the transfer market to make expected progress in the tournament, as well as others they participate in.