Soccer Football – Premier League – Huddersfield Town v Manchester United – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain – May 5, 2019 Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in the stands before the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has pledged to use the club’s financial muscle to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rebuild following a “turbulent” season.
Following the release of United’s third quarter financial results, Woodward said the “underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future”.
United missed out on Champions League qualification following a dismal campaign that led to them finishing sixth in the Premier League and 32 points behind champions Manchester City.
However, the club continues to perform well financially, with third quarter revenues up by 3.4 per cent to £152.1m with a 94 per cent rise in operating profits to £14.2m. United’s debt has remained fairly static at £301.7m, a rise of £0.4m over the year.
Woodward said: “After a turbulent season, everyone at Manchester United is focused on building towards the success that this great club expects and our fans deserve.
“Preparations for the new season are under way and the underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future.”
The figures also highlight a 12.9 per cent rise in wages that the club puts down to “investment in the first-team squad”, with wages for the quarter at £84.4m.
As Solskjaer prepares for arguably United’s most important summer since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Woodward says he will support the Norwegian despite a poor end to the season which included just two wins in 12 matches in all competitions.
“The season that has just ended clearly didn’t end the way we hoped, finishing in sixth place and with a disrupted managerial change part way through,” he added.
“However, Ole and the squad battled back from mid-December to put us in contention to qualify for the Champions League next season, but ultimately we came up short.
“While the last few weeks were disappointing, we are delighted to have confirmed the appointment of Ole as our manager on a three-year contract, and to have recently confirmed the key members of the coaching team.
“Mike Phelan, Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Mark Dempsey will all be remaining at the club.
“Everyone at the club – the board, the manager, the squad and all the staff are resolute in our desire to get United back to the top of English football. We continually look to improve staff on and off the pitch to achieve this.
“The strength of our business means we have the financial resources to continue to provide a solid foundation for backing the manager and creating success on the pitch. This, as ever, remains our number one goal.”