Ed Woodward’s message to rival clubs as Man Utd accounts lay bare dire situation

Ed Woodward insists Manchester United and other Premier League clubs have a responsibility “to support the wider football pyramid,” after United’s latest accounts laid bare the dismal situation facing football clubs in England without fans.

United have reported revenues are down 20 percent for the three months ending September 30, at £109million.

That figure was £135.4million for the same period a year ago.

They have also confirmed an operating loss of £27million for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.

The same three month period last year produced a profit of £11million, thanks in part due to a lucrative pre-season tour.

Commercial revenue for the quarter was £59.7 million, a decrease of £20.7 million.

But it is the decrease in matchday revenue which will be of major concern, if not to necessarily to United, then to the rest of English football.

United have confirmed matchday revenue of just £1.7million, due to all matches being played behind closed doors, down from £20.4million 12 months ago.

That’s a staggering 92.3 percent drop. Such a huge figure at Old Trafford is far from ideal, but for many other clubs across the land – particularly outside the Premier League where matchday revenue is a far bigger piece of the entire pie – it could prove catastrophic.

Woodward said: “While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption, we are optimistic that the recovery and normalisation phase is gradually coming into view.

“The club’s resilience and our strong commercial business continue to provide a solid foundation and gives us confidence in our long-term outlook beyond the pandemic, both on and off the pitch.

“We recognise that not all football clubs are in as robust of a financial position and that the Premier League has a responsibility to support the wider English football pyramid.

"We will continue to push for this support, both through emergency assistance during the pandemic, and through longer-term reforms to ensure that the success of the Premier League is reinforced for the benefit of the national game as a whole."

United are also continuing to work with the authorities towards a phased reopening of Old Trafford for supporters.

Woodward added: "We miss playing in front of our fans and we are working hard together with our governing bodies and relevant authorities to ensure that fans can safely return as soon as possible."

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