• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Manchester United to cut 250 jobs in cost-saving measure

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Manchester United will cut 250 jobs as part of a drive to slash costs and eliminate some “non-essential” activities.

The decision follows a comprehensive review of club operations led by United director Sir Dave Brailsford, initiated after British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe acquired a 25% stake in Manchester United and took charge of their soccer operations to revive the club’s on-pitch fortunes.

Ratcliffe had previously expressed his desire for staff to return to working from club premises. However, club sources indicate financial transformation is necessary to curb the escalating year-on-year costs.

The review determined that the club’s current structure and staff size do not align with its football performance, resulting in excess personnel.

Cost savings will focus on discontinuing “non-essential” activities, although specifics have not been disclosed.

The goal is to reduce headcount and employee costs, affecting approximately 22% of the club’s 1,000 full-time staff. This move is likely to face criticism, with some pointing out that poor recruitment around the first team has wasted more money than will be saved by cutting the workforce.

The 20-time Premier League, who finished eighth in the league table last season—their worst since 1990—are reviewing all operations ahead of the 2024/25 season.

As of June last year, Manchester United had about 1,112 employees, including players, coaches, and administrative staff. The club is set to report third-quarter results on July 10 and will welcome new CEO Omar Berrada from Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group, later this month.

An employee expressed uncertainty and sadness over the impending job cuts: “No one knows yet who will be made redundant. It is really sad.” United have been approached for comment.

Ratcliffe, who secured a minority stake in February, acknowledged encountering “lots of bad surprises” at United. He views the problems as opportunities for improvement: “There are so many opportunities to improve a lot of Manchester United everywhere we look, which is a good thing,” he told The Times.

United are under pressure to comply with the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules but did not rush player sales before the June 30 ‘deadline,’ which marked the end of the financial year.

Ratcliffe has committed £50 million to modernize United’s Carrington training complex, with extensive work underway to enhance facilities at Old Trafford.