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Why Manchester United have seen their net debt and operating loss increase

Manchester United’s net debt has risen by £95million in their latest financial results, with the club blaming the increase on dealing with losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results for the year to June 30, 2022, saw net debt increase from £419.5million to £514.9million, a jump of 22.7%.

But that rise is primarily down to the use of £100million on a ‘revolving credit facility’ to offset the £200million lost during the pandemic.

Included in the latest financial statement, United said: “Net debt as of 30 June 2022 was £514.9 million, compared to £419.5 million as of 30 June 2021, an increase of £95.4million primarily due to £64.6 million of unrealized foreign exchange losses on the retranslation of USD borrowings in addition to a further drawdown on our revolving facilities of £40.0 million, partially offset by a £10.5 million increase in cash and cash equivalents.”

United have also seen their net loss rise to £115.5million for the year, with operating loss at £87.4million, a rise of 137% from the previous year.

That jump is down to an increase in player wages after a significant summer of transfer activity in 2021, with Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo joining the club. Employee benefit expenses for the year were £384.2 million, an increase of £61.6 million.

United also spent £24.7million on exceptional items, which includes compensation paid to “former men’s first team managers, certain members of the playing, coaching and scouting staff, and certain non-playing staff”.

The club also paid out dividends totalling £33.6million during the year, mostly to the Glazer family. United expect to post revenues of £580million to £600million this year, despite playing in the Europa League.

In announcing the latest financial results, chief executive Richard Arnold said: “Our club’s core mission is to win football matches and entertain our fans. Since our last earnings report, we have strengthened our men’s first-team squad, completed a successful summer tour, and established a foundation to build from in the early stages of the 2022/23 season under our new manager Erik ten Hag.

“We have also continued to develop our women’s team with an aim of reinforcing our position among the leading clubs in the Women’s Super League.

“Ultimately, we know that the strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our fans, which is why we have made fan engagement a strategic priority. While there is a lot more work to do, everyone at the club is aligned on a clear strategy to deliver sustained success on the pitch and a sustainable economic model off it, to the mutual benefit of fans, shareholders, and other stakeholders.”

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