Executive chairman Ed Woodward admitted it has been a “turbulent season” for Manchester United on the day the Premier League club revealed positive news from their third-quarter financial results.
United missed out on Champions League qualification following a fraught campaign that led to them finishing sixth in the Premier League – although, conversely, the club continues to perform well financially.
The club posted revenues of £152.1 million for the quarter, up 3.4 per cent from last year, which translate into earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £174.9million for the year to date and an operating profit of £72.1million.
Woodward said: “After a turbulent season, everyone at Manchester United is focused on building towards the success that this great club expects and our fans deserve.
There used to be a football club there…
— Graham Shaw (@bignorman) May 16, 2019
“Preparations for the new season are under way and the underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future.”
Woodward’s reference to a “business” rather than a club has angered United fans on Twitter.
The club also paid a semi-annual dividend to the shareholders for the quarter of $0.09 per share – meaning a payment of £11.6million to the Glazers and the same will be paid again on June 5.
The six Glazer siblings collectively own around 97% of United’s voting shares and have taken around £1bn out of the club since taking ownership in 2005.
— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) May 16, 2019
Ahead of his conference call to investors, Woodward listed the following highlights for the last three months:
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed as permanent manager on a three-year contract
- Manchester United Women promoted to Women’s Super League, winning the FA Women’s Championship title
- Announced global partnership with Marriott
- Announced global partnership and licensing agreement with Maui Jim eyewear
Speaking in the conference call to talk about United’s earnings report, Woodward added: “The season that has just ended clearly didn’t end the way we hoped, finishing in sixth place and with a disrupted managerial change part way through.
“However, Ole and the squad battled back from mid-December to put us in contention to qualify for the Champions League next season, but ultimately we came up short.
“While the last few weeks were disappointing, we are delighted to have confirmed the appointment of Ole as our manager on a three-year contract, and to have recently confirmed the key members of the coaching team.
“Mick Phelan, Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Mark Dempsey will all be remaining at the club.
“Everyone at the club – the board, the manager, the squad and all the staff are resolute in our desire to get United back to the top of English football. We continually look to improve staff on and off the pitch to achieve this.
“The strength of our business means we have the financial resources to continue to provide a solid foundation for backing the manager and creating success on the pitch. This, as ever, remains our number one goal.”