Red Devils hit by Champions League absence

Adam Hignett
MANCHESTER United has found itself deeper in the red as its failure to qualify for the Champions League has seen debts spiral and revenues plunge.

The UK’s biggest football club came seventh last season as David Moyes took over the role of manager from Sir Alex Ferguson who had managed the team since 1986, delivering 12 Premier League titles, two European Cups and five FA Cups.

Revenue fell by 14 per cent in the three months to 31 December to £105.7m compared to the same period the previous year reflecting falls in match day and broadcasting revenues as a result of the team’s failure to qualify, down 8.3 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.

The level of debt at the team increased 6.7 per cent to £380m.

Profits for the quarter tumbled 78 per cent to £4.4m from £19.8m the year before.

However, the recently announced Premier League broadcasting rights package for 2016-19 season with Sky and BT means Old Trafford club can expect around £155m from its share of the proceeds.

Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman, claimed the $5bn deal “once again demonstrates that we are part of the top football league in the world.”

The team will also benefit next year from the massive £750m deal with Adidas to supply their kit, despite some fans vocally criticising the appearance of the new kit on Twitter.

The failure to qualify for the Champions League managed to have one slight positive on the club’s finances as it trimmed its player payroll, resulting in £2.9m of savings bringing the total bill to £48.7m.