Manchester United’s net debt stood at £494.8m as of December 31, 2021, up from £455.5m at the end of the previous year, according to the club’s latest accounts.
The report, published on Tuesday, shows that a significant proportion of the rise in debt stems from a drop in broadcasting revenue – £22.3m (20.5%) less was earned during of the last quarter than in the equivalent period of 2020-21 – because four fewer games have been played. There was also a £2.6m decrease in sponsorship funds following the end of the club’s training kit deal, although there was revenue growth of 7.3%.
The extent of the debt is regularly noted by supporters opposed to the owners, the Glazer family, which in 2005 undertook a debt buyout.
Speaking to the club’s Fan Forum, director of football John Murtough claimed United had the ‘right structures’ for the men’s and women’s teams to win trophies. Murtough’s comments come despite the men’s side being in flux with an interim manager in Ralf Rangnick and a 19-point gap with Premier League leaders Manchester City. United last won the league nine years ago.
“Overall, while there is potential for further improvement and progress, we feel we now have the right structures in place across our men’s, women’s and academy teams to support long-term success and we will continue to work hard and invest to make it happen,” Murtough said. “We know consistency is key as we strive for a top-four finish this season. the fight for the best trophies.
“We are currently carrying out a thorough process for the appointment of a new permanent manager who will take over this summer, with the aim of challenging us for those domestic and European titles. We are in the process of recruiting a women’s football manager, highlighting our commitment to our women’s team operations and women’s football as a whole.Another point of note is that we appointed a data science director during the quarter to gather and advance the use of data by the club to help players and staff succeed.