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Revenues from Manchester United suffer as players sideline

Image:-StadiumOld Trafford

Manchester United withdrew its annual financial targets and estimated a loss in revenue of around 23 million pounds ($28 million) in the third quarter as the coronavirus crisis brought a halt to the Premier League and European soccer competitions.

Executive Vice President Ed Woodward acknowledged the uncertainty brought on by "one of the most extraordinary testing periods in Manchester United's 142-year history," but said he was optimistic about the future in the midst of hopes that the Premier League could resume next month.

This week, England's top clubs have returned to training with the goal of resuming matches behind closed doors in June, a sentiment Woodward echoed on a post-earnings media call.

Last weekend he pointed to the return of the German Bundesliga as a sign of "strong, pent-up demand" for TV live soccer.

Woodward said he hoped United would be able to complete all of the 2019-20 games of the first team by the end of August and start the next season in time for it to end in May 2021 on schedule.

United, who are in "rebuild" mode chasing a return to the lucrative UEFA Champions League competition, were fifth in the 20-team Premier League when the action was halted.

Broadcasting revenue in the third quarter ended March 31 more than halved, causing total revenue to slide 19 per cent to 123.7 million pounds.

Net debt ballooned by more than 42 per cent to 429 million pounds and the club, controlled by the American Glazer family, made a net loss of 22.8 million pounds after taking into account the cost of financing that burden.

United expects to have to sacrifice around 20 million pounds in broadcast revenue over the full season, the Premier League's slice of a rebate will have to offer staging matches caused by the crisis for delays.

United have not played since they beat LASK Linz 5-0 in the Europa League in Austria on March 12, behind closed doors. Their last match at their home in Old Trafford was a 2-0 win at the Premier League on March 8 against local rivals Manchester City.

Article Edited by | John Heine |

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