How Ronaldo LOST Man Utd money on shirt sales

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • Updated: 28 Sep 2022 17:26 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk Updated: 28 Sep 2022 17:26 BST 3 min read
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, 2022/23

The long-held claim that Cristiano Ronaldo pays back his transfer fees and expensive salaries through shirt sales has been exposed as a myth, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

Maguire explained on Wednesday how Man Utd’s financial accounts demonstrate that the addition of Ronaldo to the club in 2021-22 had no positive impact on the club when it came to shirt sales.

Indeed, Man Utd’s accounts show that Man Utd actually made €1.3 million less from shirt sales with Cristiano Ronaldo at the club when compared to their earnings the season before.

Maguire tweeted: “For those who trilled Manchester United would cover Cristiano Ronaldo’s estimated £20m a year salary in shirt sales alone, the accounts reveal United earned £76.3m from adidas (customer B) in 2021/22, compared to…err £77.4m the previous season, before he signed #Glazernomics.”

Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United: Goals, assists, results & fixtures in 2022-23

Ronaldo’s Man Utd return

Ronaldo returned to Man United in the summer of 2021 after 12 years away, having enjoyed a brilliant six years at the club between 2003 and 2009 before moving to Real Madrid.

The attacker completed a £12.85 million move from Juventus, with a potential £7m in add-ons.

But it was his salary which has proved to be especially costly for Man Utd, as he is believed to be on more than £20m a year.

Some experts claims that Ronaldo’s huge commercial appeal would see Man Utd soon be able to pay back their investment in the Portuguese star.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, 2022/23

But, according to Maguire, that has not proven to be the case.

On the pitch, also, Ronaldo has made little difference to Man Utd’s fortunes.

Despite an excellent first season back individually with 24 goals in all competitions, Man Utd performed badly as a team.

They failed to win a trophy or qualify for the Champions League.

This forced Ronaldo to issue a transfer request this past summer but despite his agent Jorge Mendes’ efforts, the 37-year-old was unable to find a new club.

He has been dropped from the first team this season and has scored just one goal in all competitions, a penalty in the Europa League.