Manchester United, the third most-valuable soccer team in the world, reported results for the 2020 fiscal year that signal it is not immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The club had an 18.8% drop in revenue, to about $641 million, for its fiscal year that ended in June. It posted a $29 million loss, as opposed to a $24 million net profit in the year prior.
Like many teams, Manchester United couldn’t have fans in attendance during home matches. The club’s matchday revenue was down 19% year-over-year to $113 million, but it noted that some of the matchday losses were offset by reduced costs.
The team said that loss was “primarily due to three Premier League home matches and the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 home match deferred into fiscal 2021 and subsequently played behind closed doors and one Premier League home match played behind closed doors in June 2020.”
Additionally, the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League quarter-final and semi-final matches were revised to a knockout tournament format and played without fans at neutral venues in the 2021 fiscal year. The team did say that the loss was partially offset by playing two domestic cup home matches and by reduced matchday costs.
Broadcasting revenue dropped 41.9% year-over-year, but not entirely due to the pandemic; Manchester United missed out on the Champions League this season. Ten total matches also got pushed out of the 2020 fiscal year, and rebates related to the impact on the Premier League broadcast schedule will total about $23 million.
The men’s first team is qualified for the 2020-21 Champions League season.
Despite the major losses across broadcasting and match days, commercial revenue was up 1.4% year-over-year to $352 million. Sponsorship revenue was $231 million, up 5.6%.
Manchester United is estimated to be worth $3.98 billion, according to Forbes. Only Barcelona, at $4.2 billion, and Real Madrid, at $4.23, are worth more.