Manchester United swings to loss, will play matches despite new lockdowns in England

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Manchester United Ltd. reported Thursday that it swung to a fiscal first-quarter loss as revenue dropped 20%, given the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but fans of the English soccer team are likely more interested in the fact that the club said it will continue to play matches despite the new lockdown measures in England, and European matches are also currently expected to continue as planned. Also on the fans radar, Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward said the club remains “absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] as the team continues to develop.” He was apparently trying to squash media speculation that the Red Devils would move to hire well-regarded former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. Separately, the club reported a net loss for the quarter to Sept. 30 of GBP30.3 million ($39.7 million), or 18.58 pence per share, after net income of GBP1.1 million, or 69 pence per share. Total revenue fell 19.5% to GBP109.0 million ($143.0 million), as matchday revenue fell 92.3% to GBP1.7 million and commercial revenue dropped 25.7% to GBP59.7 million, while broadcast revenue rose 44.7% to GBP47.6 million. The stock, which fell 0.5% in afternoon trading, has dropped 23.2% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 9.3%.
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