Tonight Manchester United announced, as part of the quarterly earnings report, that in a break with established precedent, it will not be paying a dividend to shareholders for the first time since dividends commenced in 2015.
On 15 November, the Board of Directors did not approve the payment of the semi-annual dividend for fiscal 2023.
MUST has raised the issue of dividends, at the highest levels of the club, and increasingly so in recent times. Indeed the Fan Advisory Board on which MUST holds two places was set up specifically to facilitate open dialogue on strategic issues such as this. The MUST representative on the Fans Forum also raised objections to the dividend policy in its most recent meeting as recorded in the minutes here We are glad that, while the dividend issue has dragged on for far too long, we have finally got to the right position. Certainly dividends should not be paid when the football club is not achieving success on the pitch, challenging for top honours. That is rewarding failure and removes the incentive for the owners to ensure sufficient reinvestment of profits back into the football club.Our view is that no further dividends should be paid while new investment and ownership remain unresolved. Progress on issues like this can be slow, as we saw with the removal of the compulsory Automatic Cup Scheme or the installation of safe standing/rail seats, to quote two other examples in recent years. However it demonstrates that direct dialogue with the club does deliver results, if we are sufficiently persistent. You could say it pays dividends in the end.