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Man Utd and Juventus lose over $370m

After ticket sales were largely wiped out.
Old Trafford Stadium, the home ground of Manchester United Football Club, in the U.K. Image: Anthony Devlin, Bloomberg

Manchester United and Juventus, two of Europe’s most iconic soccer clubs, revealed the extent of the financial blow to the sport from the pandemic, posting combined losses of more than $370 million.

The English club reported a full-year loss of 92.2 million pounds ($127 million) on Friday while Italy’s record title winner lost 210 million euros ($247 million) after ticket sales were largely wiped out as games were played in empty stadiums to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Edward Woodward, Man United’s executive vice-chairman, said on a call with analysts that it had been among the most challenging periods in the club’s history. Its earnings through June 30 were also hit by the cancellation of a lucrative pre-season tour and variations to sponsorship revenue.

Man United re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus last month, though Woodward declined to comment on the star player’s likely financial impact. The club, whose shares are listed in New York, decided not to give revenue guidance for 2022 in case the pandemic leads to further restrictions on attendances.

Juventus, meanwhile, also warned that it wouldn’t be the last earnings report to show the impact of the pandemic. It said the current financial year is expected to show “a significant loss.”

Man United and Juventus were among the European elite clubs that were part of the failed breakaway Super League earlier this year. All the continent’s top teams are trying to figure out how to repair their finances and grab a greater share of future broadcast revenue. Juventus said it remains confident in the “legitimacy” of the Super League project.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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