Manchester United’s wage bill rose by 23% over the last accounting period with the club’s publishing of their financial statements suggesting that investment in the squad has hit the club financially.
“Employee benefit expenses” were up by 23% in the first quarter of the 2021-22 financial period compared to the same expense a year earlier.
The three-time champions of Europe spent a staggering £88.5 million on wages from July to September with the signings of superstars such as Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo significantly increasing the costs of a playing squad full of household names.
The club brought in £17.4 million in transfer fees in the same period as Danny James moved to rivals Leeds United at the end of the summer transfer window.
With the return of fans to Old Trafford coinciding with the quarter, revenue associated with matchday receipts increased to £18.8 million compared to a lowly £ 1.7 million in 2020. Overall revenue remains solid, up 16% to £126.5 million.
Despite the good news on the Income Statement, United’s Balance Sheet reads for bleak viewing for all stakeholders in a club that has been riddled with debt since the controversial takeover by the Glazer family in the 2000s.
Net debt is down from £440.6 million to £439.7 million, something that will worry supporters of the club and was a key reason behind widespread fan protests earlier in the year.
“While these financial results today demonstrate our resilience through the pandemic, our top priority is success on the pitch.
“The manager, players and everyone at the club are determined to achieve that objective,” said Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward.