Manchester United’s executive vice-chair Ed Woodward has admitted that playing performance does little to affect the club’s commercial might after the release of their latest financial reports.
United reported an 8.1 per cent raise in revenues to £137.5 million ($185.6m) in the third quarter of the 2017-18 financial year on Thursday, although salary costs were up 12.9% following the January arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal on a contract worth around £400,000 ($540,000) per week.
But when asked in a call with investors whether success on the field could impact the club’s balance sheets in the future, Woodward replied: “If I answer that just very simply and candidly, playing performance doesn’t really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial size of the business.”
Woodward had earlier revealed that United’s YouTube launch had been incredibly successful, with subscriber figures in the first hour dwarfing those of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team and the New York Yankees baseball club being surpassed within a second hour. Meanwhile, the club’s MUTV has also seen subscriber growth.
The vice-chair did add that the club was delighted with progress on the field, with Jose Mourinho’s side having secured second spot behind Manchester City in the Premier League table ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final with Chelsea.
United are also hoping that they may get a financial boost in future editions of the Champions League thanks to a restructuring of the prize money pools. Going forward, 30% of the total pot will be split between clubs as determined by historical coefficients with national TV deals having less of a say in the totals handed out.
“A new coefficient-based prize pool will be created, which allocations therefore a larger share of prize money towards historic performance rather than just the geographical broadcasting contributions,” explained chief financial officer Cliff Baty.
“The coefficients pool is calculated on each individual club’s performance in the Champions League and Europa League over the preceding 10-year period with also further recognition for historic European trophy wins.
“It is shared between the 32 competing clubs based on their coefficient ranking order, so the club with the highest coefficient will received 32 times more than the club at the bottom of the coefficient. I think of it similarly to the Premier League merit payments in terms of finishing positions.
“Currently we sit fifth in the coefficient table, and we are the leading English club at the moment. Overall, we will need to wait until UEFA announce what the actual prize fund will be to determine the impact for us.”