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Manchester United post £71.4m loss for first quarter of 2024

Manchester United have announced their latest financial results, posting a net loss of £71.4 million during the first quarter of 2024.

The Red Devils posted a net loss of £5.6m during the same three-month period in 2023, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of major shares playing a key role in the difference.

The British billionaire became Man United co-owner after buying 27.7% of their shares. Consultancy fees owed to the American firm Raine, who brokered the deal, were also paid – leading to £30.3m in exceptional costs.

Reports claim the US merchant bank earned £25m from the sale, and costs were paid by Man United rather than the Glazers, who earned £715m from selling their shares to Ratcliffe.

Lawyers from Latham & Watkins LLP located in London, New York, Washington DC, San Diego, Houston, Washington, Orange County and Brussels worked on the transaction.

Their failure to progress from the Champions League group stage also took a toll on their finances.

Finishing last in Group A behind Bayern Munich, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray ensured they did not get anything when the knockout stage of the competition and the Europa League started in February.

Man United played fewer home games than they did during the first quarter of 2023, with four of their five FA Cup games before the final played away from home.

Their elimination from the Carabao Cup by Newcastle United in the last-16 in November was also a factor.

Revenue was down from £170m to £136.7m compared to the same period last season, which the Red Devils attributed to playing nine fewer home matches.

Their total operating expenses were up 15% on the equivalent quarter last year to £203.7m, which included £91.2m in employee costs as they invested heavily into the first-team squad.

It led to amortisation costs related to the payment of transfer fees over the course of players’ contracts reaching £46.3m, up by £3.4m from the same quarter last year.

Man United will hope that Ratcliffe’s investment of over £200m in developing the club’s infrastructure will paint a more positive picture in the next quarter.

They have confirmed via their latest accounts plans for a redundancy programme, which could lead to around 250 people losing their jobs across the club.