Ed Woodward believes Manchester United are making progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was pleased with their transfer activity this summer.
Woodward is approaching the end of his time as United’s executive vice-chairman after confirming his upcoming resignation recently. But he is still overseeing significant aspects of the club until his departure in December. He retains an important degree of power in their decision-making processes.
There have been plenty of items on the agenda in recent months. United invested heavily in the summer to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho; they also added Tom Heaton as a free agent.
The work is still ongoing though after the closure of the transfer window. There will be more areas to address in future windows and one question is still lingering over the club regardless. Is Solskjaer the right man for the manager’s job?
Solskjaer’s position has come under fresh scrutiny following their surprise loss to Young Boys in the Champions League in midweek. But in his defence, Man Utd have been making progress in his reign. Still, they are not yet at the level they would traditionally expect to be.
Even so, Woodward has freshly reiterated his backing for Solskjaer. In addition, he shared his belief that the new additions will make a difference this year.
He will tell investors in a call on Friday afternoon: It has been an exciting start to the season at Old Trafford, with capacity crowds in attendance for the first time in almost 18 months.
We were delighted to welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo to the club, along with Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton, to further reinforce the progress that our first team has been making under Ole.
This was made possible by the strength of our operating model, with sustained investment in the team underpinned by robust commercial revenues.
Everyone associated with Manchester United can be proud of the resilience we have shown through the challenges created by the pandemic and we look forward to the rest of the season and beyond with great optimism.
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Woodward adds: We have been clear in our strategy to build a squad with a blend of top-class recruits and homegrown talent, comprising a balance of youth and experience, with the aim of winning trophies and playing attacking football the Manchester United way.
As part of this, we have continued to strengthen our recruitment and scouting processes and we have also increased our investment in the academy to ensure that this success is sustainable.
While squad-building is a constant process, we are more confident than ever that we are on the right track.
Manchester United financial position confirmed
Woodward’s comments coincide with Man Utd confirming their latest financial statements. In part due to the impact of Covid-19, they recorded an operating loss of £36.9m last season.
Revenue dropped to £494.1m after a previous decrease from £627.1m to £509m in their last annual results.
The club made a net loss of £92.2m. That was larger than 2020’s figure of £23.2m due to the accounting impact of a £66.6m non-cash tax charge.
Net debt has decreased from £474.1m to £419.5m year on year, with season ticket revenues helping.
Meanwhile, it was also confirmed that their wages have increased by 13.6 per cent to £322.6m due to Champions League participation.
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