Manchester United confirms loss in revenue

<p>The football club says a year away from the UEFA Champions League has contributed to its financial drop.</p>

Manchester United has reported a £37.8 million loss in revenue for the year ending May 31st. This was mainly due to the club not competing in the UEFA Champions League – the first time the club hasn't participated in the competition since 1989 – this meant the club played fewer games.

On Thursday (September 17th), Manchester United published its annual reports. Total revenues were £395.2 million for the year ending May 31st 2015, down 8.8 per cent. In comparison, the firm reported revenues of £433.2 for the year ending June 2014.

Match day revenues dropped 16 per cent to £90.6 million, while income from broadcasting dropped bell by £28.1 million (20.7 per cent) to £107.7 million.

However, the loss was softened due to the club's 5.5 per cent drop in wages to £203 million. Since the club did not participate in the Champions League last season, players were not paid any bonuses in relation to the European competition.

Sponsorship for the club reached record levels – up by 14.1 per cent to £154.9 million.

Commenting on the results, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said he is "enthusiastic" about the football club's "strong position, both on and off the pitch".

He pointed out that the Manchester United squad has been enhanced "with an exciting mix of experience and youth" and the team recently qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Champions league.

In July, the club also announced a ten-year £750 million partnership with sports fashion brand Adidas.

"Our record revenue and EBITDA guidance for 2016 reflects the underlying strength of our business and our confidence in its continued growth," Mr Woodward added.

Dividends

Manchester United has also announced that it will be paying a dividend to shareholders for the first time since the club went public in 2012.

Shareholders will get $0.045 per share (£0.03). However, a fan's group has criticised the club's decision to the Glazers family, which owns a majority share – £16 million a year.

Sean Bones, vice-chairman of Manchester United Supporters' Trust said the move was like "rubbing salt into the wound".

He said: "Profits from the club should go back into it."

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