Some things in the Man Utd earnings report just don’t add up…

Date published: Friday 22nd May 2020 2:30

Old Trafford Man Utd

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Man Utd earnings report…
Dear F365

I just read the Manchester United Q3 earnings report summary in The Guardian, and some things don’t quite add up. United made a pre-tax loss of £28.55m in Q3, and apparently blame Covid-19 and the US$ exchange rate movements. An increase in debt for the 12 months to March 2020 of £127.4m is a sobering number.

But some things didn’t quite add up, so I read the investor earnings report myself (so that you don’t have to, it’s not exactly riveting stuff, you’re welcome).

Here’s the CFO, Cliff Baty:

“COVID-19 had a significant operational impact on the final two weeks of the quarter with three scheduled matches at the end of March canceled, including the home leg of the Europa League Round of 16 versus LASK. ”

Oh yes, those crowd-pullers LASK, already 0-5 down in the first leg. Spurs away, Sheffield United at home, granted that’s an attractive fixture, but most the seats are already sold, season ticket revenue already recognized, so little to no revenue impact in Q3.

“Net finance costs for the third quarter were £25.3 million compared to £3.1 million in the prior year. This movement was solely due to foreign exchange movements on our U.S. dollar debt (my emphasis) and reverses the foreign currency gain seen in the first half.”

So United lost an additional £22.2 million this quarter servicing their US debt due to “exchange rate movements”. So, who owns that debt? Please Coach, don’t tell me it’s the Glaziers! (Coach – sorry, yes it is).

But wait – as CFO Cliff tells us – in the prior year these costs were £3.1 million, but this quarter are £25.1 million? That would imply that the US$/£ exchange rate has moved a factor of almost ten-fold in the period? I’m not sure that can be quite true. It would mean that the monthly “parachute payment” I send to my daughter in the UK would have been, for the sake of argument, worth £300/ month to her last year, but £3,000 this month? I’m sure she’d appreciate the bonus, but it just doesn’t add up.

I’m sure more sage accounting minds such as those chaps at Swiss Ramble will interpret things a lot better than I, but blaming three postponed matches, exchange rate fluctuations on debt of the club’s own making, and the club shop at Old Trafford being closed doesn’t really add up to £127.4 million.

Of course I can just regress to calling everyone c*nts who don’t agree with me, but then again, I’m not thayden.

Love and peace from the Left Coast
Steve, Los Angeles


Players we fell in love with…
Fantastic suggestion from Minty this morning to bring a positive vibe back into the Mailbox, players that we fell in love with, well for me, there are three in particular but I’ll keep it to the point on each.

Kaka – The first player that made me truly interested In football, his flair, ability, that incredible hair and how he looked in those 00’s Black & Red Milan kits, Milan were the first side due to him that I supported, the reason they are my favourite colours too, my hair is also red and black, two goals stand out for me, against Celtic and United in the UCL.

Fernando Torres – Was so happy when he joined Chelsea, he may not have been the player he was at Liverpool due to injury but a world class player that has an incredible and truly deserved trophy cabinet, UCL, World Cup, Euros, all deserved, used to always sign him up on FIFA Career Modes when he was at Atletico, another with fantastic hair and his goal against Blackburn for Liverpool and of course Barcelona for us still makes me drool.

Cesc Fabregas – Lovely guy, another I couldn’t believed joined my club due to his Arsenal links, was a privilege to watch him play in the Chelsea blue jersey.
Mikey, CFC


Musings on the end of season
I’ve been thinking about the numerous end of the season scenarios and both have a point to make and a question to ask.

The point first – thayden and others are right, Liverpool haven’t mathematically won the title as yet. However, it’s not a stretch to think they would, despite the inane ramblings of Eamonn, Dublin in the afternoon mailbox.

Liverpool need 5 points from 9 games. That’s 5 points from 27. To lose the title from here, a team who have dropped points in only 1 league match in their last 20, would need to drop more points in their next 9 games than they have in their last 67, since the summer of 2018. And even that assumes a perfect run of 10 wins from their nearest challengers, whose league form in 2020 alone is W5, D1, L2. So no, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Liverpool are worthy Champions. (In fact they only need three points – if they were to play and beat City that’d be enough)

So, to the question. More a thought experiment really, but whatever. Man City are facing a hearing next month to investigate the decision to ban them from European competition for an alleged breach of FFP. Outcomes of this MAY include the ban being upheld and a possible points deduction in the Premier League. A 5 (or more) point ban would therefore remove any remaining mathematical doubt as to the champions.

So my question is to Man Utd fans – would you rather see the ban upheld along with a 5+ point penalty which would see United qualify for the Champions League next season at City’s expense, but remove any hypothetical asterisk from Liverpool as league champions, or would you rather City win the appeal and remain in Europe?
Jonny (very hypothetical question, just interested in the answers) Dance


Crumb of football…
Sorry lads, haven’t been available much lately, can’t bear to come to F365 and only read about politics and Covid. As my old footy coach used to say “if you don’t turn up, you don’t get a game”, so true…

Returned briefly today to see again, too much non-sport but did find a small crumb of footie somewhere.

As a Man Utd fan brought into  footballing life while Liverpool were dominating, it’s fair to say I really don’t like them. I’ve mellowed with age now so refrain from using the word hate now. Just.

However, I do feel the need to defend the scousers sometimes, even in an apologetic way. I will be quite amused for them to not win this title by not playing, I would be overjoyed for them to play it out and fail, but that last scenario is not realistic. Reading a mail of them possibly losing most of the remainder of their games just seemed too much like poking a bear and I’m sure many will bite. Liverpool could lose all their games and fail to win the title but how likely is it? I’d say it would be about as likely as them losing a game to city if they were 7-0 up with 10 mins to play. Yes, it’s mathematically possible, but it’s not going to happen. It’ll be your year next year Liverpool  (insert giggle emoji here as I pray and hope they’ve lost their best short for a while…..again)
Jon, Cape Town (barely surviving on home made pineapple beer in our newly founded communist state. South Africa – striving to be the next Zimbabwe. Stick that in your politics pipe and smoke it. )


It’s not just Liverpool…
Feel a bit sorry for Eamonn and I’m guessing that all the supermarkets have sold out of straws in Dublin. He talks about if, but, and what about this? But if I played the lottery I might win it. He says Liverpool have lost 4 of their last 6. Which means they’ve won 2 of their last 6 which under current projection they’d win 3 out of 9?

But to put the into perspective Manchester City have lost 3 of their last 9. It’s not just Liverpool need to get those points it’s Manchester City have to gain them, and based on Eamonn’s ifs and buts, City won’t do it.

Personally I would stick to one simple fact Eamonn: Liverpool haven’t mathematically won the league yet, by bringing in equations, you’d need to add other teams into the sum. Because you’re now sounding like a desperate person, but you have a nice day.
Scouse the Mouse


Eamonn, I really hope whatever job you work in involves no use of statistics or making predictions about the future. Because your bad at it. First of all, can we dig a little deeper into the 4 losses in 6.

Chelsea in the FA cup wasn’t a full strength team. So its ludicrous to include that in the form table. Secondly, you’re forgetting we actually won the second leg against Atletico 1-0 in normal time (the 90 minutes Premier League games are played in). Then lost in extra time. So its more like 3 wins in 5, or if you want to count the Atletico game as a loss, 2 wins in 5.

Even if it was 2 wins in 6, how you extrapolate from that that Liverpool win none of their last nine games, I really don’t know. You’re also conveniently forgetting that 5 points (or even no points) would almost certainly be enough to win the league. City would have to win every single game to prevent it. Does their form (3 losses in 9) suggest even remotely that they could do that? Or do you conveniently ignore City’s form and just think about Liverpool’s?

If you want to argue that Liverpool don’t deserve the title because you think the season should be finished, thats one thing. But to even suggest that they might not have won the title, or that form suggests it was even a remote possibility is frankly ludicrous and just highlights your own bias.
Mike, LFC, London


Right to reply to the reply
First off, Thayden I apologise profusely for suggesting you kill yourself.  I was bang out of order with that and you were right to call me out on it.  The angry tone of your mail that I initially responded to triggered my own anger but that is no excuse.  However, if you are a reasonable person you will at least be able to see why your email angered so many people.

The thing is though, you seem to have missed the main point of my mail, which was probably lost in the ranting.  I wasn’t defending the Tories per se, I was trying to say that no matter who was in charge, they would not have gotten things right.  If a total lockdown had been instigated the moment Covid-19 reared its ugly head, people would have complained.  People are complaining left, right and center now that the lockdown is even still in effect, despite the evidence that it is actually working.  Anything the government did (Tory, Labour or A N Other) would’ve annoyed a large swathe of the country and had people protesting.  You only have to look around the world to see the protests to know that that is true.  I actually think they waited too long before acting, but I consider myself level-headed enough to know that, with a completely unprecedented situation such as this, the government couldnt win.  Kind of a damned if they do, damned if they dont sort of thing.

I have a disabled son, who is extremely at risk from corona and complications resulting from it, so I certainly don’t agree with Iain Duncan Smith’s assertion that disabled people are a burden. I’m actually disabled myself, but it was from an incident with the Army and as such I’m not at any greater risk than most people my age.

But it is about balance, whether you can accept that or not.  We do have to get the economy moving down the path to recovery.  How many small business have gone bust during this time?  How many more will go to the wall?  Even big companies such as Virgin are in trouble.  Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people stand to lose their jobs.  What sort of effect will that have?  Not a good one.

However, just opening everything back up and sending people back to work now is going to end up with thousands more people getting infected and possibly dying, which will overwhelm the NHS and end up costing even more people their lives.  So it’s about reducing the risk as much as possible whilst at the same time ensuring that people that can afford to feed themselves and their familes.  Balance.

On the football side, there are more people involved than just highly-paid, super-fit athletes and those people need to work as well to pay their bills and buy food.  But again, it’s about balance.  Too soon and too many people will die, too late and there wont be a job for them to go back to.

Football, like all sports and other businesses, needs to resume as soon as it is safe to do so.  Yes, for economic reasons, but also for the morale of those people who enjoy watching/playing football that are stuck at home during this crisis.  You cannot totally eliminate risk, so the key phrase is ”when it is safe to do so.” Which is something I believe the Premier League have been hammering home with Project Restart.

tl:dr I’m sorry for saying you should kill yourself but can everyone please accept that balance is needed.  Either extreme (no football until zero chance of death/bring it back right now) is wrong.  Find the middle ground.
Clive, LFC


F365 Alphabet Cup – C-Team v D-Team 1st Leg
C-Team XI:

Petr Cech

Seamus Coleman   Jamie Carragher     Sol Campbell     Ashley Cole

Michael Carrick

Joe Cole   Philippe Coutinho

Tim Cahill

Eric Cantona   Andy Cole

Subs: Willy Caballero, Ben Chilwell, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Santi Cazorla, Andy Carroll & Peter Crouch.

Manager: Antonio Conte

Venue: Craven Cottage

D-Team XI:

David De Gea

Lee Dixon    Richard Dunne    Marcel Desailly    Julian Dicks

Roberto Di Matteo   Kevin De Bruyne    Damien Duff

Paolo Di Canio    Jermain Defoe    Didier Drogba

Subs: Lucas Digne, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph, Moussa Dembele, Angel Di Maria, Troy Deeney & Eden Dzeko.

Manager: Kenny Dalglish

The game begins in lively fashion, with Duff defending diligently, heading a Joe Cole cross clear. Sorry. Duff then has the first shot of the game after good link-up play from Drogba and Di Canio. Dicks takes a kick from Cantona but recovers. Andy Cole misses.

A cagey start is blown away with Joe Cole teeing himself up for a blistering acrobatic effort in the box which De Gea saves well. Cantona also hits one from 30 yards which De Gea gets down to. The corner drops to Andy Cole’s feet and he skies it. Lordy. The Cs continue to press and Cahill is sandwiched in the box by Dunne and Dixon – that could be a penalty! But the referee is unmoved and the fans let him know. Carrick then drives from the right-hand edge of the box and De Gea tips it out of play.

We are at the half-way point of the first half. Coutinho drops a lovely ball at Joe Cole’s feet but he volleys at De Gea. Desailly bullies Cantona off the ball. Defoe plays Drogba in on the wing. He crosses for a Di Canio header from a difficult angle, caught by Cech. The C-Team’s dominance soon pays, however, as Cantona is slipped in delightfully by Andy Cole and he smashes it into the bottom corner… but he was offside! Dixon then has a strong shot saved. De Gea clears erratically under pressure and Cahill sends a header wide.

A throw-in by Dicks is worked to De Bruyne via Desailly, on to Di Matteo who first-times it onto Defoe in the D who slams it into the top left-hand corner! What a goal! Some in the Craven Cottage crowd are smirking. It is soon wiped off their faces however, as Cahill passes to Cole lets the ball roll across him and he finesses a beauty of a shot into De Gea’s top right!

Duff concedes a foul on the edge of the box on the same Cole and is booked. Coutinho takes it and hits a leaping Desailly in the wall. Seamus Coleman hurts himself and Christensen comes on. 1-1, half-time!

Resuming, Cahill evades Desailly and finds Joe Cole on the six-yard line with a raking cross, who utilises a diving header which De Gea blocks. Successive corners yield nothing. Campbell and Carragher are upfront oddly enough. Cahill finds Andy Cole who smashes the near post with a right-footed drive. The Devils counter and Dixon drops the ball on a dime for Defoe to double his tally. 2-1.

Dalglish isn’t content as he subs Di Canio for Dzeko and Deadly Defoe for Dandelion Di Maria. It doesn’t work out, as Joe Cole is slipped in by Cahill again to score. King Kenny, what have you done?

Moussa Dembele comes on for Di Matteo. Steel. Dzeko crosses from the wing for Di Maria to head home – but it hits the bar and goes out with a clunk! Surely roles should be reversed here. Cantona then strikes the upright with a header and De Bruyne is so alert to nick a certain goal off Cahill’s toes! But Coutinho crosses for Cahill to head home, with Duff overawed in defence.

Cazorla is put in for Cahill. Drogba plays Dembele through but Cashley confounds him. De Gea stops from Joe Cole expertly. Di Maria fouls Joe on a short corner. Andy Cole wastes acres of space as Duff tackles in the box – but the referee awards a penalty! Cantona to take it… and hits the post but he gets the rebound to score! Foul play! Huge moment.

Crouchie comes on for Cole. Nice. Joe Cole is set free and must score! But he hits the post Cantona struck earlier! De Gea saves excellently from Campbell. Coutinho hits the cross bar from the corner! Cantona rises for the header but De Gea is no Barthez. Dzeko tests Cech. 90 minutes played. Five to go and then… Duff slips Di Maria in and he SCORES! 3-ALL. Dzeko drives again, well-saved. On we march to The Dell…ish.

MOTM: Tim Cahill (& Didier Drogba) 8.8/10


Never give up…
Dear oh dear, all this recent tribal mailbox hate and anger. How about some happy memories instead, which *all football fans should be able to appreciate. That is, I suggest go to the BBC’s FA Cup’s 50 Greatest Memories for some great moments. For my own team, some good, some bad (that’s a fan’s life) but my favourite is the incredible 2004 Man City away 4 v 3 comeback Tottenham game (won’t put link because it seemed to be almost 400 characters long?!) I listened to it on radio and couldn’t wait to watch the highlights. Seeing the fans understandably going bonkers is what the game should be all about.

Anyway, would love to hear from any City fans that were there and the emotional rollercoaster they must have experienced. Even those who you could understand might have left at half time, 3-0 and 1 man down. What journeys back you must have had!! Better than after the Gillingham game?
Mike Woolrich, LFC (*sorry Spurs fans, except obviously you guys – though you do have Ricky V and Gazza elsewhere! But your guys thoughts on that night, though painful, would also be interseting to hear).


Love for Harry’s Heroes
Dear Editor,

Having just watched the final episode of Harry’s Heroes, I want to shout out and send some big love to Paul Merson and Lee Hendrie who have done so well to turn their lives around and bringing back football as a positive influence on their lives. I watched the first series, and over the second I have liked getting to see the personalities of the former legends a bit more like David Seaman and Mark Wright, whilst Vinnie Jones’s cameo gave me much more of an appreciation of the role of a true captain in that he never stopped talking and encouraging team mates on the pitch and opening up about life issues off it. Also, Matt le Tissier really is a very lovely gentleman.
Rich (get well soon Razor), Cambridge


‘Players used’ daydream
The recent ‘Hall of Shame’ article may have planted the seed, but I had a lockdown-daydream this afternoon and imagined a scenario in which Alex Ferguson had to write a book containing just chapters on individual players he had managed.

The catch was that each chapter had to tell the full no-holds-barred story of his dealings with and opinions of the player, no matter how badly it reflected on him or them. Why he would have to do something so legally compromising, the daydream-gods did not explain.

A ‘Players used’ list was available on and eleven chapters felt apt, any takers for your own list/manager?, anyone want to try Harry Redknapp?!

Mark Bosnich

Eric Djemba Djemba

David Beckham


Eric Cantona

Roy Keane

Michael Owen

Darren Ferguson

Paul McGrath

Graeme Souness

Andy Goram
Harry Bo


Someone should let Rob in Brighton know that there is a thing called inflation, and if he is comparing costs over a number of years he might be best to adjust for it. Taking account of inflation and using figures (which Rob used, although he doesn’t state his source) and applying HMT’s GDP deflator (look it up), Liverpool have spent £658m (net) in today’s money since 1990. Adjusting the United figure gives £721m, so a lot closer than Rob suggests.

However, this is only general inflation and doesn’t account for player inflation; for example the jump in prices post-Neymar to PSG. Player inflation will be higher and therefore Liverpool’s figure if adjusted is likely to be closer, if not higher, than the Utd figure. If anyone can be bothered estimating player inflation since 1990 then I salute you.

In summary, cancel the season, prepare for next year, give them the title. They earnt it.
Garey Vance, MUFC

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