Ed Woodward revealed Manchester United are committed to “playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid” as the club revealed the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
United announced results for the 2019-20 financial year on Wednesday, including a £70million drop in revenue as it counts the cost of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
The club posted total revenue of £509m, a significant dip on the initial forecast of £560m-£580m.
It comes a year on from a record £627.1m figure, albeit a drop was always expected without Champions League football.
Net debt has risen to £474.1m, an increase of £270.5m over the course of the year, as broadcasting revenue dropped to £140.2m.
United’s commercial revenue increased by £3.9m to £279m, while a £23m dividend was paid out. A six-month extension to the shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet was also announced, meaning the partnership will run through until December 2021.
Exceptional costs for the prior year were £19.6m, attributed to the departure of former boss Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff.
Prior to a conference call with investors, a statement from executive vice-chairman Woodward said the club will “drive forward” the strategic vision for the future of English football, having been at the forefront of the Project Big Picture proposal that was unanimously rejected by the Premier League.
United and Liverpool, the two clubs at the centre of the Big Picture plan, have also been in talks over the creation of a breakaway European Premier League, Sky News reported on Tuesday.
“Our focus remains on protecting the health of our colleagues, fans and community while adapting to the significant economic ramifications of the pandemic. Within that context, our top priority is to get fans back into the stadium safely and as soon as possible,” Woodward said in a statement.
“We are also committed to playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid through this period of adversity, while exploring options for making the English game stronger and more sustainable in the long term.
“This requires strategic vision and leadership from all stakeholders, and we look forward to helping drive forward that process in a timely manner.
“On the pitch, we have strengthened the team over the summer and we remain committed to our objective of winning trophies, playing entertaining, attacking football with a blend of academy graduates and high-quality recruits, while carefully managing our resources to protect the long-term resilience of the club.”