Ed Woodward

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Man United eager to spend in transfer market

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Man United are “committed to backing Ole to win trophies” as executive vice chairman Ed Woodward gave an update on potential new signings in the transfer market.

Woodward had previously said that transfer fees would fall following the coronavirus pandemic and even Man United would be impacted when it comes to signing new players.

Speaking at a Manchester United fans’ forum, Woodward was asked about possible transfers.

“It feels somewhat inappropriate to see speculation about transfers for hundreds of millions in current circumstances,” Woodward said. “There’s a big disconnect between those stories and the economic realities facing football clubs in general.

“Clearly it’s true we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position compared to many clubs, but we are not immune from the financial impact of what this virus is doing. I would say that once we have that visibility of a path through the crisis and coming out of the other side to relative normality, then of course, we aim to remain highly competitive in the market.”

Man United have been linked with Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and many others ahead of the next transfer window, whenever that is.

Those deals would probably cost over $300 million in transfer fees alone. Could Man United, or any club, afford that right now? Probably not.

Woodward’s comments are more about backtracking on his previous comments when he seemed to suggest Man United would not be buying any new big names for at least the next 12 months.

Woodward says Man Utd, most clubs can’t spend much this summer

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If you’re one of the millions of fans around the world who enjoy each season’s transfer windows as something of a secondary season/competition alongside the real, on-field games, prepare to be disappointed.

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According to Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward, spending will undoubtedly be down at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future. Good news for non-Man United fans, right? If only he had stopped there. Woodwars believes that not just United, but very likely all clubs across Europe, will be unable to spend the same way they have done in years past — quotes from the BBC:

“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.

“As ever our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.”

On the flip side, this would be a hugely welcome development for clubs the size of, say, Leicester City or West Ham United, who currently employ James Maddison and Declan Rice, respectively, two of the most sought-after young, English talents in the game. In a “normal” summer window, each player would likely move to a “big-six” club. In a muted summer transfer window, however, it might be difficult — if not impossible — for any club to meet their respective valuations.

Woodward ‘pleased with the progress being made’ in Man Utd project

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Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward released a lengthy statement lauding the club’s transfer process, including manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the long-term plan.

While the United manager has struggled after a hot start in charge of the Red Devils, his chairman seems to see him as part of the solution.

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Woodward points to the acquisitions and financial outlay that brought Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, and Bruno Fernandes to Old Trafford, and says it’s only going to get better.

He says that Solskjaer and his staff are in lockstep with the club’s transfer staff. From ManUtd.com:

“Significant work has already been done – and investments made – to strengthen the Academy and we’re pleased with the progress being made behind-the-scenes to ensure we have the right players, the right infrastructure, and the right culture to sustain long-term success.

“Similarly, there has been extensive work on our recruitment process, with considerable investment in scouting, data and analytics. The Recruitment Department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff. Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our Academy with high-quality acquisitions.”

It hasn’t been a great time for Woodward, whose house was shockingly attacked while he was not home (his family was in the building).

Speaking frankly, United’s current plight is down to long-term mistakes, and Woodward’s been at the wheel. Maguire’s price tag was hilarious, but all three of the aforementioned transfers make them better.

According to The Manchester Evening News, “United have promised ‘unequivocal’ backing for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite an unconvincing 11 months as permanent manager.”

That’s saying something. United should have a ton of money to spend this summer, assuming a sale of Paul Pogba amongst others. Marcus Rashford getting fit and Mason Greenwood maturing could give them a terrific attack in front of Fernandes.

Whether Solskjaer is the right man to execute that, who knows? One would have to think that Sir Alex Ferguson is on board with the way things are going now, as he still seems to loom over proceedings.

But come next season, when United is looking at something like $400 million in transfer outlay under Solskjaer, you better believe the fuse will be lit if the Red Devils aren’t firmly in the top four.

Woodward insinuates new contracts at Man United down to transfer struggles

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Ed Woodward rarely speaks publicly as he leads Manchester United through a season of struggles, but his most recent words have given further ammunition to those who criticize the squad talent level.

Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa while piled more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Woodward was asked about the multitude of new contracts given to players at Manchester United rather than attempting to upgrade positions of weakness. His answer seemed to admit transfer window failings and that contract extensions were fallback options.

“It’s hard enough to get three players done in a transfer window,” Woodward said. “To get six or seven done is extremely difficult if you are getting proper talent. If you choose to churn every player because they are not good enough and you’re not extending contracts, you are putting yourself at risk of execution. Sometimes you have to take a broader view.”

Manchester United has signed players like Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, and Ashley Young were all extended in the past calendar year, and all those players have at times heard noise about their Red Devils’ futures. Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo also received new contracts last fall. The club has also given extensions to David De Gea, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, and Victor Lindelof, although those players have been far less criticized for their performances on the pitch.

It doesn’t help that the few players offloaded this summer have performed well overseas, as Romelu Lukaku has built a strong partnership with Lautaro Martinez at Inter Milan while Chris Smalling has helped Roma to one of the best defenses in Serie A.

“It’s a multi-year squad evolution analysis,” Woodward said, seeming to brush squad decisions off as more than just the struggles faced this season.

Man United reveal plans for the future; financial results announced

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Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has a plan.

He shared it in a statement on Monday, as the Red Devils have picked up some momentum over the past few weeks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side back in the hunt for a top four finish in the Premier League.

The leading man at the PL giants confirmed that producing their own young group of players in the first team is now their main aim.

“We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment,” Woodward said. “The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our Academy are already beginning to bear fruit.

“We are very proud to be shortly approaching a milestone 4,000th game featuring an Academy player, and we are particularly optimistic regarding the considerable young talent currently coming through. Our ultimate goal is to win trophies by playing exciting football with a team that fuses graduates from our Academy with world-class acquisitions.”

Academy products Marcus Rashford, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay are key players in United’s first team this season while the likes of Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Mason Greenwood have all gained valuable experience.

That said, Woodward will no doubt realize that United have to spend on key additions in the upcoming windows alongside promoting their talented youngsters.

Solskjaer has already mentioned that the January transfer window is something United will look at closely, as they are currently in seventh place in the Premier League table and nine points off the top four. An attacking midfielder is likely to be their key target as they failed to bring in Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes this summer.

With regards to the finances, United’s net debt rose by $177.9 million which was in essence due to bringing in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James this summer. However, their first quarter revenue for this year was slightly up to $175.5 million year-on-year.

They are expected to bring in $86.8 million less in the next 12 months from TV revenue and prize money as they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, but players wages did fall 8.8 percent with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez off the wage bill, as that now stands at $90 million.

As always, a lack of success on the pitch doesn’t really seem to hurt United off it.