Manchester United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward has said the club’s debt profile rose by 133 percent to £474.1 million due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as the huge increase in debt.
United’s fourth quarter and full financial year results also showed a revenue drop of 19 percent to £509m and a loss of £23.2m, compared to a £18.9m profit made last year.
“Our focus remains on protecting the health of our colleagues, fans and community while adapting to the significant economic ramifications of the pandemic,” Woodward said. “Within that context, our top priority is to get fans back into the stadium safely and as soon as possible”.
“We are also committed to playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid through this period of adversity, while exploring options for making the English game stronger and more sustainable in the long-term”.
“This requires strategic vision and leadership from all stakeholders and we look forward to helping drive forward that process in a timely manner.
“On the pitch, we have strengthened the team over the summer and we remain committed to our objective of winning trophies, attacking football with a blend of academy graduates and high-quality recruits, while carefully managing our resources to protect the long-term resilience of the club.”
Despite the financial pressures of the pandemic, Woodward pointed to the signing of Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles as proof that investment in the squad will continue.
United have endured an inconsistent start to the new season, which has included home league defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham, as well as an impressive 2-1 victory at Paris Saint-Germain to kick off their Champions League campaign. Woodward insists manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retained the backing on the board.
“We will never be satisfied at Manchester United unless we are winning trophies,” Woodward said. “But our third-place finish in the Premier League and strong cup runs last season showed that while there is more hard work ahead and the path is not always smooth, we are making progress”.