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Coronavirus has cost Manchester United £70m in expected revenue

Manchester United have announced a loss of £70m in annual revenue due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Manchester United suffered a £70m drop in expected revenue in the period to 30 June 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures in United’s 2019-20 financial statement includes the period when English football shut down.

United’s overall revenue was down 18.8% from £627.1m to £509m, but part of this was due to the club not qualifying for last season’s Champions League.

In last year’s statement, United had estimated revenues could reach £580m.

Net debt more than doubled from the previous year to £474.1m.

The club spent around £75m in the summer transfer window.

According to a publication by BBC.com, United made a net £18.9m profit in 2018-19 and a net £23.2m loss in the most recent financial year.

It was also confirmed within the results United had paid out £23.23m in share dividends over the course of the year, although future payments are under review.

English football was halted in March in response to the pandemic and since the restart in June has been played without fans.

Speaking on Wednesday’s conference call with investors, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward urged the UK government to follow examples around Europe in allowing fans back “as soon as it is safe to do so” and said the “inconsistencies” in the rules were “frustrating”.

“If people are allowed to sit in a plane for hours, or in the cinema, or even watch football in a cinema why not outside in a stadium environment which is professionally managed and controlled.” said Woodward.

He also confirmed the club played an “active role” in plans know as Project Big Picture, which was rejected by Premier League clubs last week, while he distanced United from reports of the creation of a new European Premier League.

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