Ed Woodward might be heading for the Old Trafford exit door at the end of the year, but the Manchester United executive vice-chairman is still excited about what the future holds for the club.
In the wake of the European Super League crisis, United announced that Woodward would be stepping down at the end 2021.
Woodward still has three months to go before he retires. On Friday, he updated the club on their ambitions and their position regarding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in advance of United’s financial results for the year.
“We significantly strengthened the squad over the summer, with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton,” said Woodward.
“These signings have demonstrated our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, and our firm commitment to helping Ole deliver success on the pitch.
“While squad-building is a constant process, we are more confident than ever that we are on the right track.
“This was made possible by the strength of our operating model, with sustained investment in the team underpinned by robust commercial revenues.
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“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.
“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.
“As we review our financial results for the 2021 fiscal year, there is little doubt that those 12 months were among the most challenging in the history of Manchester United.
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“While the financial impact from the pandemic is visible, our continued underlying strength is also clear to see and everyone associated with the club can be proud of the resilience we have shown through these most testing of times.
“The best part of this recovery is the return to Old Trafford by fans. It has been amazing to witness and hear the stadium filled for the first time since almost 18 months.
“On the pitch, the team has made a strong start in the league, and everyone at the club is feeling excited about the rest of the campaign.”
Woodward claimed that United’s strong financial position had helped them weather the financial uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 epidemic. However, many other clubs have faced similar challenges.
But he warned football is at a crossroads, with the ever increasing demands of wages and transfer fees pushing some clubs to the very brink, as seen with Barcelona this summer.
“It is not an accident that we have been able to invest this summer at a time when many clubs have been retrenching,” Woodward went on.
“This reflects the strong commercial model we have built over many years, ensuring that our spending is always underpinned by revenues that we generate ourselves.
“We are confident in our relative strength but it is evident that football as a whole faces major challenges due to years and years of material inflation in wages, transfer fees, and the impact of the pandemic.
“We are committed to working within the Premier League, the ECA and UEFA to promote greater financial sustainability at all levels of the game.”