Speaking on a conference call with investors, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward told fans not to expect any panic purchases this January.
“We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes,” Woodward said.
“However, we have targets that we are looking at for next summer. Should any of them become available in January, which is obviously rare, we will consider acting. But I think in terms of expectation-setting, we all need to recognize that is a low probability.”
Much of this is due to a sharp decrease in earnings for the beginning of the Premier League season thanks to the club’s failure last season to retain its previously unwavering place in the Champions League tournament.
Without any European play to speak of – not even a place in the Europa League – Manchester United announced earnings of $139 million – a 10% decrease – for the first quarter of the 2014/15 fiscal year, which covers July to September. In transfer fees alone, the club spent over $200 million this past summer.
The drop in earnings can be attributed to the loss of TV revenue from the tournament, plus missing out on a payment from Nike for failing to qualify. Woodward pointed to their club-record kit deal with Adidas, which will kick in next season and is worth over $1 billion across ten years.
Despite inconsistent results this season as well as an unfortunate injury crisis, the Red Devils sit just two points outside the final Champions League position in the Premier League table, and this gives Woodward the feeling that many more wholesale changes aren’t needed to sustain the club.
“There is a real feeling at the club that we are at the start of something special,” Woodward said. “While we are still evolving as a team, it is clear … the team is heading in the right direction.”
Woodward then started throwing out statistics that caused many to chuckle. Looking to illustrate Manchester United’s global marketing power, Woodward declared that Daley Blind increased his Twitter following by 72% since moving to Old Trafford, and Angel Di Maria’s Google search frequency increased by 12% since signing on.
The club has stated it believes revenue for the full season will likely fall around $63 million short of the previous year thanks to the Champions League miss.