Manchester United withdraws 2020 forecast as soccer put on hold

With no Premier League soccer taking place in England since early March, Manchester United has given its own annual financial targets the red card and reported a second consecutive drop in quarterly core earnings and revenue.

Major soccer leagues across the world were brought to an unexpected halt on fears mass gatherings could spur contagion.

The impact has now spread from the stadium to the balance sheet.

«Operationally, the impact of the pandemic and measures to prevent further spread continue to disrupt businesses in a number of ways, most significantly in broadcasting and match day operations,» the company said in a statement.

Broadcasting revenue more than halved in the third quarter ended March 31, while matchday revenue fell 8%.

As a result, total revenue slid 19% to $151.3 million, while core profit tumbled 32% to just over $34 million.

Manchester United haven’t won the Premier League since 2013.

The club had been looking for a return to better days on the pitch, by qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Now it remains uncertain how or when the season will be concluded.

This week saw a return to training for players in small groups in England’s top division, but games aren’t expected to start for another month.