By Yadarisa Shabong
(Reuters) – Manchester United said the club has ‘a lot more work to do’ as executives targeted an improved performance on the pitch and set out financial goals for 2022-23 after ending the previous year deep in the red.
The 20-times English champions are under new leadership in the form of CEO Richard Arnold and team manager Erik ten Hag, who have been tasked to revive fortunes amid recent clamour from fans for a change in ownership.
United, controlled by the American Glazer family and listed on the stock market in New York, won their last Premier League crown in 2013, long-serving manager Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.
“While there is a lot more work to do, everyone at the club is aligned on a clear strategy to deliver sustained success on the pitch and a sustainable economic model off it” said Arnold, who replaced Executive Vice-chairman Ed Woodward in February.
Arnold said last season’s sixth-place Premier League finish fell short of aims and expectations. It meant the club has not qualified for this season’s lucrative European Champions League.
United recruited Antony, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia as they sought to bolster their playing squad under new manager Ten Hag.
Net debt, a bone of contention for fans, grew nearly 23% to 515 million pounds, hurt by the accounting impact of a weaker pound against the dollar.
United expect total revenue to be between 580 million to 600 million pounds for the year to June 2023.
That forecast remains below revenue of 627 million pounds reported pre-pandemic, and compares with 583 million pounds it reported for the past year.
The absence from the Champions League means salaries, which grew 19% last year, will be a bit lower this season.
The Old Trafford club expects adjusted core profit between 100 million to 110 million pounds for the current year on lower wages and said it was contending with soaring utility costs. That compares with 81 million last year.
Soccer clubs are generally energy intensive due to floodlights, undersoil heating and stadium operations and higher energy costs are unavoidable amid Britain’s energy crisis.
United’s net loss for the year ended June 30 ballooned to 115.5 million pounds from a loss of 92 million pounds a year earlier. ($1 = 0.8855 pounds)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Chris Peters in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)