10 July 2024

Man United confident of complying with financial rules despite £71.4m loss

10 July 2024

Manchester United are confident of complying with the Premier League’s financial rules for 2023-24 despite posting a £71.4million net loss for the third quarter.

The net loss figure includes £30.3million in exceptional costs related to the sale of 27.7 per cent of voting rights in the club to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, including consultancy fees owed to the American firm Raine.

United sources see those costs as a necessary price to pay in helping to put in place the ownership and management structures they believe will bring greater discipline on recruitment in the future, while maintaining the club’s commercial resilience.

Dan Ashworth finally joined United as their new sporting director to oversee player recruitment last week, while Omar Berrada begins work as the club’s new chief executive this week.

While the sale to Ratcliffe came at a cost to United, on the flipside he is committed to investing 300million US dollars in developing club infrastructure, with 200m US dollars already paid in, including around £50m towards upgrading the club’s Carrington training complex.

Club sources expressed confidence around complying with the league’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) for the assessment period ending with the 2023-24 season, though admitted it was tight.

The PSR allow for losses of up to £105m over a three-season assessment period. They will remain in place next season, with new financial rules set to be adopted for the 2025-26 season.

The club have been working hard to meet PSR requirements and were able to trim squad costs via January loans, including Jadon Sancho going to Borussia Dortmund and Donny van de Beek to Eintracht Frankfurt.

That confidence in complying explains why there were no departures before the financial year end on June 30, but the club are determined to exercise discipline in this summer’s transfer market in order to continue compliance with the PSR.

Total operating expenses were up 15 per cent on the equivalent quarter last year to £203.7m, which included £91.2m in employee costs, reflecting investment in the first-team squad.

Amortisation costs – related to the payment of transfer fees over the course of players’ contracts – was £46.3m, up by £3.4m on the same quarter last year.

Revenue was down 20 per cent compared to the same period last season, which the club attributed to playing nine fewer home matches.

The accounts confirmed plans, first reported last week, for a redundancy programme which could lead to around 250 jobs being lost across the club.

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