September 18, 2021 || 7:22 pm

United’s high-profile signings Of Ronaldo add €76m to annual cost !

The huge costs invo’lved in signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho have been laid bare with the trio expe’cted to add another £65m (€76m) to Manchester United’s wage bill this season, accor’ding to the club’s chief financial officer.


‘ United’age bill for last season increased by almost 14pc to £322.6’m (€378m) as a result of an uplift in player salaries follo’wing the club’s return to the Cham’pions League.


It means wages now acco’unt for a record-high 65pc of turnover after reven’ues dro’pped to £494.1m (€579m), their lowest level for six years, for the 12 mon’ths to June 30, 2021 as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pand’emic.


United have traditio’nally worked towards a wage/turnover ratio of 50pc but, even if revenues soar this season follow’ing the return of fans to Old Trafford.


that ratio is expe’cted to stay around the 65pc ma’rk for the 2021/’22 campaign given the impact of Ronaldo, Vara’ne and Sancho’s salaries. Cliff Baty,.


United’s chief finan’cial offic’er, said the club were forecasting a wage incre’ase of “arou’nd 20 per cent” for this seas’on, the equivalent of £64.52m (€75.6m).


Cristiano Ronaldo’s proje’cted €23m move from Juve’ntus made the five-time World Player of the Year the high’est paid foot’baller in Premier League history.


with his ‘ pack’age understood to be worth more than the £560,000 (€656,000) a week Alexis Sanc’hez stood to earn dur’ing his ill-fated spell.


France defen’der Var’ane – who signed from Real Madrid for an initial €40m – has a four-year contract worth arou’nd £400,000 (€470,000) a week and England winger Sancho joine’d from Borussia Dortm’und in an €85m deal. United also signed veteran goalkeeper Tom Heat’on as back-up to David De Gea and Dean Henderson.


“In terms of cost’s, we’d exp’ect wages to increa’se by around 20pc which reflects the increased investment in the squad following the sum’mer tran’sfer window,” Baty told an invest’or call in the wake of the release of United’s accounts for 2020/’21.


“It is not an accid’ent that we have been able to invest this sum’mer at a time when many clubs have been retrenc’hing,” the club’s exec’utive vice-preside’nt Ed Woodw’ard said. “This reflects the strong comme’rcial model we have built over many years, ensuring that our spending is always underp’inned by revenues that we gene’rate oursel’ves.


“However, while we are confi’dent in our relative strength, it remains clear that foot’ball as a wh’ole faces major financial c’hallenges caused by years of material inflation in wages and trans’fer fees, exacerbated by the impact of the pan”demic.


“We are comm’itted to wor’king within the Premier League, the ECA and Uefa to prom’ote greater financial ‘ at all levels of the game,” added Woodward.


Richard Arnold, Uni’ted’s gro’up managing director, said: “While every signi’ng we make – and some are better known than others – has a positive im’pact on fan engage’ment and a positive effect on the activity that we do, that’s putting fuel into a well-run en’gine and we’re reno’wned in the sports indust’ry for doing a good ‘job of maximising the ‘com_mercial opportun’ities that come to us.


“But our focus is on signing players who can deliver on the pitch and then to maxi’mise that oppor’tunity afterwards.”


United secu’red new com’mercial deals with Ecolab and the Renewable Energy Gro’up as well as renewi’ng a partn’ership with DHL. But they have still to annou’nce a replace’ment partner for Aon, whose £180m (€211m), eight-year deal to sponsor the club’s training ground and tra’ining kit ended this summer and was United’s third biggest comme’rcial contract after the adidas kit and TeamViewer shirt deals.


United posted net los’ses of £92.2m (€108m) last season, although this was largely attribu’table to the accoun’ting impact’ of a £66.6m (€78m) non-cash write off cau’sed by the UK corpor’ation tax rate rising above the US rate.


Operating losses for the year were £36.9m (€43.2m) and the club’s net debt stood at £419.5m (€491.6m). Sponso’rship income fell £42.5m (€49.8m), prim’arily due to there being no summ’er tour.


But those losses and the hit to match-day income were largely offset by an 81.7pc jump in broadcast revenues to £254.8m (€298.6m) owing to the return of Champions League football and 10 matches being carried over from the delayed 2019/’20 campaign into the first fiscal quarter of last season. Despite the impact of the pandemic, shareholders – made up predominantly of the Glazers – were paid dividends totalling £10.7m (€12.5m) for the year.



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