Man Utd financial report shows debt listed as £443.5m as Ed Woodward sends message to fans

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Ed Woodward declared Manchester United have the foundations for "long-term success" in the club's last financial report, which showed their debt totals £443.5million.

The Red Devils finished second in the Premier League this season and reached the final of the Europa League, where they were denied silverware after suffering penalty shootout heartbreak against Villarreal.

It was a campaign which suggested the club are moving in the right direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is expected to earn a pay rise with a new three-year contract as he prepares for his third full season in the Old Trafford dugout.

But there was no shortage of turbulence off the pitch, with the club's owners, the Glazers, facing vehement protests from fans after signing up for the ill-fated Super League.

Woodward sent a message to supporters and shareholders in the Q3 report

Executive vice-chairman Woodward announced he would be stepping down from his role at the end of the year following the debacle.

In a message to fans and shareholders in the report for the third quarter (Q3), Woodward insisted his tenure has laid the groundwork for sustained success in the years to come.

He also highlighted how sorely United have missed fans, with the club generating just £1.6million in matchday revenue compared to £29.1million for the equivalent quarter last year.

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"The absence of fans over the past year has proved that they are the lifeblood of the game," said Woodward.

"Following the successful return of limited numbers at the end of last season, and continued trials of increased crowds at sports events this summer, we remain optimistic about the prospect of fans returning to Old Trafford in larger numbers going forwards.

"With the foundations for long-term success in place, including significant initiatives to strengthen engagement with our supporters, we look forward to the upcoming season."

Do you agree with Ed Woodward? Have your say in the comments.

The Q3 report also shows United's debt has grown 3.4 per cent since the end of March 2021, a rise of £14.4million.

Commercial revenue was also down 15.3 per cent, but there was an enormous 125.4 per cent increase in broadcasting revenue from £26million in Q3 2020 to £58.6million in Q3 2021.

All of this works out at an overall operating loss of £21.6million in the third quarter this year, compared to £3.3million last year.

Broadcasting revenue has seen such a substantial jump because every Premier League match was made available to view on television throughout the 2021/22 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Q3 report adds: "During the third quarter, a total of twelve home matches were played behind closed doors across all competitions, compared with a total eight home matches with fans in attendance during the prior quarter, creating a significant shortfall in Matchday revenues.

"This largely offsets the increase in Broadcasting revenues, due to the men’s first team’s participation in the UEFA Champions League."

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