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Exec: Champions League miss to cost Manchester United $50 million in revenue

May 15, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

Woodward AP

For a brand that prides itself on being “global,” Manchester United will be hit hard by their failure to play in any European tournament next year.

On a conference call to summarize the club’s end of season financial report, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward confirmed missing out on the Champions League could seriously cost the team.

Woodward (pictured, center) said he expects the failure to qualify for European play to cost the club upwards of $50 million, and with the club already in serious debt, that could hurt their spending power this summer.

“We estimate that the isolated impact…of not qualifying for European football will be in the mid-30 millions of pounds,” Woodward confirmed. “This includes a 15% reduction in the price of executive facilities next year.”

The club’s heavy debt has been widely publicized the past few years, with the club owners, the Glazer family, coming under heavy fire for taking on so much commitment.  However, Woodward did announce that the club’s debt was cut 4.6% this year, bringing it down to $589 million.

The rest of the news wasn’t so good. He mentioned a “single-digit million pounds” payoff to David Moyes as part of his release, and also mentioned that while third quarter revenue was up 26% to $119 million, new player signings and managerial shifts caused staff costs to increase by 19%.

Other highlights from the call include Woodward calling this season “disappointing,” that they hope to make an announcement on the new manager “in due course,” and that they will be “active in the transfer market.”  Seems that Woodward has been conditioned well in the art of coach-speak.

Finally, Woodward insisted, “The club’s expectations, and you will see this reflected in the transfer market, and what we’ve recently done from a managerial perspective, our aim absolutely is to get back into the Champions League.”

Coming from an executive, it’s no surprise they’d like to get back given the bleak financial outlook.

 

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