That Manchester United is struggling financially is an open secret.
This was witnessed this month as the club failed to attain Erik ten Hag’s reported primary targets like Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix, whose transfers would have commanded high fees.
United instead turned to Wout Weghorst, who was available for a cut-price figure reflective of the club’s crippling cash crunch.
The Red Devils were placed in fourth position by financial services firm Deloitte which published its 2023 Money League report recently. The report detailed that a profit turnover of 23% was made by the 20-time English champions.
However, according to finance expert Kieran Maguire, this reflection is not a true indication of United’s actual situation.
Maguire told The Athletic, “A couple of things stand out in relation to Manchester United. The first is that their costs are rising faster than their income.”
“The second is that in respect of income generation, the Old Trafford commercial machine has stalled. Empty trophy cabinets don’t sell deals, and after seeing both Chevrolet and TeamViewer get their fingers burned with front-of-shirt deals it will be harder for the commercial boffins to extract additional monies from sponsors.”
“Manchester United have seen no growth in commercial and matchday income since 2016 but in that period wages have increased from £232million to £384million, putting all the pressure on broadcast income to cover the extra costs — and broadcast income is determined by results on the pitch, rather than the club itself.”
The Athletic also quizzed Professor John Barbour, Roger Bell and John Purcell from financial analysis firm Vysyble about United’s financials and they were equally unimpressed.
As per Barbour, Bell and Purcell, United’s current predicament is a situation of their own making brought about by the adoption of inferior strategies, priorities and actions over the past few years.
It’s no wonder that the Glazers are looking for a speedy exit from Old Trafford, with the club’s condition now at a critical stage.
The Vysyble trio add that in the face of a shortage of cash and an increasing need to access further credit facilities, rapid financial ruin is looming.
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