10 January 2022 - 4:10 PM
Manchester United under Ed Woodward Part I: Still a commercial behemoth capable of servicing high debts, but rivals have gained ground and the roof is leaking
- Under Woodward, United have remained English’s football biggest earners, but the ratio between them and Liverpool has narrowed from 1.9:1 to almost even.
- Of the 20 operating profits recorded by the EPL’s ‘Big Six’ between 2012 and 2021, United account for eight of them, and boast by far the biggest cumulative profit in that time.
- Despite continual on-field underperformance, dividend payments to shareholders have ballooned in recent years, totalling £123 million since 2016.
- Interest payments have fallen since 2013, but debt repayments have ceased and the club’s financial debt remains high, while capital expenditure has lagged behind domestic rivals.
When Ed Woodward ascended to the role of Manchester United’s Executive Vice Chairman on 30 April 2012, he did so at a club that was, at least in terms of its moneymaking ability, in rude health.
United earned comfortably the most money in English football at that time, and sat behind only Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the revenue stakes within the game globally.
Woodward, having been in charge of the club’s
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