Premier League clubs generated £2.1 billion for the North-West economy during the 2019/20 season and £1.1bn for Greater Manchester, along with supporting 21,000 jobs, according to the study from consultancy firm EY.
Collette Roche, Manchester United Chief Operating Officer, said the findings confirmed the positive impact of football on the regional economy – with United at the forefront.
“We’re proud of the contribution our club makes to the economy and society of Greater Manchester and beyond, not just as a major visitor attraction, but also as a large employer, with a permanent workforce of over 900 people, rising to thousands on matchdays.
“It’s great to see these benefits being recognised, along with the work of Manchester United Foundation in creating opportunities for young people across Greater Manchester.
“This report shows what a positive force the Premier League and football in general is in the life of our region.”
Roche’s comments were echoed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who said United and neighbours Manchester City provided a “huge range of benefits” to their communities.
“The profile of the city is raised immeasurably by the stature of our two Premier League football clubs. As Mayor of Greater Manchester, every time I go abroad, often the first question I get is about what’s happening at United or City.”
Burnham said that, together with regional neighbours Liverpool and Everton, the Manchester clubs were helping “level up” the North-West of England.
“You know, we are the powerhouse of the Premier League and I would say the North-West of England, probably more than anywhere else, has built the Premier League into what it is.”
Burnham praised the “phenomenal impact” that both Manchester clubs have on young and disadvantaged local people through Manchester United Foundation and City in the Community.
“The Manchester United Foundation does incredible work, and they are very focused on opportunity for young people. I also saw how the Manchester clubs stepped forward during the pandemic. We know it’s had a huge impact in terms of derailing some young people’s progress and the clubs have been working hard to help them get back on track.”
The EY report, commissioned by the Premier League, showed that Premier League football contributed £7.6 billion to the UK economy overall during the 2019/20 season, despite its suspension for more than three months due to the pandemic.