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Manchester United announce debt increase amid ongoing takeover talks

The Premier League club’s financial report shows that a modest operating profit was made during the final quarter of 2022.

Manchester United announce debt increase

Financial results published today showed that Manchester United’s debt increased to £535.7 million ($650m) during the fiscal quarter ending 31 December 2022, pushing the club £58.6 million further into the red.

A large part of the increase is due to the loss in value of sterling in comparison to the dollar, the currency in which the club’s owners took out the loans. The Glazer family, who have owned the club for two decades, are currently considering bids for Manchester United.

While the club’s debt rose significantly during the period in question, it was actually able to record a modest profit of £6.3 million. Commercial revenue was up 22.2% and there was a significant decrease in certain costs.

Staff costs fell to £77.3 million, a drop of £20.4 million from the previous year. The club’s statement said that this was the result of “squad turnover” and salary adjustments made because the team was competing in the Europa League rather than the Champions League.

Manchester United takeover updates

Despite the growing debt and the fairly minor profit, these financial results are unlikely to deter any of the bidders vying to take control of the Premier League club. In recent weeks as many as eight parties are thought to have expressed an interest to take either total control or a partial stake of the club.

The Glazers set a deadline of last Wednesday for all interested groups to submit their offers. However that deadline has now been extended after two of the most likely candidates requested extra time.

Sheikh Jassim, a member of the Qatari royal family, and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe have both held talks with the club’s hierarchy in recent weeks to discuss a potential takeover. Both parties have now submitted their second bids for the club but no indication has yet been given as to the frontrunner.

Ratcliffe’s potential takeover could be hampered by his existing involvement in French side OGC Nice. The European football governing body, UEFA, prohibits multi-club ownership in its continental competitions, meaning that Ratcliffe could be forced to sell his stake in the Ligue 1 club if he wants to proceed with the Manchester United deal.