Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has attempted to appease the club’s fans by bragging that they have spent more than any of their European rivals over the last three transfer windows – despite a huge rise in debts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The executive vice-chairman and hierarchy at Old Trafford have come under fire for their work in the transfer market in recent years, but Woodward was keen to praise their summer purchases.
Speaking upon the release of United’s finances on Wednesday, in which it was revealed their debt has risen a massive 133 per cent to £474.1million, Woodward insisted that the club have fully backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has bragged about Manchester United’s recent spend
United signed Edinson Cavani, among others, from Paris Saint-Germain the summer window
Woodward was insistent that Manchester United have backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘We are pleased with our recent additions to the First Team squad of Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles, two players we had been tracking as part of our recruitment process for a long period, and Edinson Cavani, a top striker who adds a new option to our forward line,’ he said.
‘We also welcome Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo, who will join in January, two exciting young prospects who have also been scouted extensively.
‘Added to the arrival of Bruno Fernandes earlier this year, these recruits underscore our continued commitment to strengthening the squad and take our net investment in new players since summer 2019 to over €200m – more, I believe, than any other major European club over that time period.’
Manchester United released their latest quarterly financial results on Wednesday morning
Alex Telles was another major arrival at Old Trafford amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has decimated finances at most of Europe’s top clubs this summer, and Woodward picked out Chelsea as the ‘outlier’ for spending so big while others shied away.
‘At a club level, many of our peers were cautious, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG having a combined net spent of €9m; or a median net spend of €13m,’ Woodward continued.
‘Of course there were one or two outliers the other way, most notably Chelsea, who were making up for not being able to be active during their transfer ban in summer 2019.
‘But one needs to look across multiple windows to gain a clearer perspective; and as I mentioned earlier our aggregate net investment over the last 3 transfer windows compares very favourably with our peers.
United owners Avram Glazer (left) and Joel Glazer will take a heavy hit amid the Covid-19 crisis
Finances continue to take hits with more games this season played behind closed doors
‘The bottom line is we are investing and will continue to invest to back the manager.’
United’s worrying financial results come just hours after the team secured a brilliant result on the pitch, beating last season’s Champions League finalists PSG away from home.
The result, with both goals in the 2-1 win scored by Marcus Rashford, puts them in a strong position in a tough Champions League group.
Progression to the knockout stages is vital to Woodward and the club’s finances as they look to balance the books in the latter stages of a tough 2020.