Ed Woodward: Manchester United Have Made Clear Progress Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has hailed the significant advances the club have made on the pitch under their current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

At the moment United are sitting second in the Premier League, which represents an improvement on last season’s third-placed finish.

Even though United’s title challenge has faded away over the last month and they find themselves now 14 points behind the leaders Manchester City, they have still amassed 10 more points than at the same stage of last season.

“The progress made by Ole and the players this season is clear and our thriving academy and women’s team are also adding to the optimism we feel about the future on and off the pitch,” said Woodward.The United vice-chairman was speaking on Thursday after the release of United’s latest financial results for the 2021 fiscal second quarter up until December 2020.

The results revealed United’s net debt is now £455.5 million, an increase of £64.2 million over the last year, which has largely been fuelled by the loss of match day income since March 2020.

United’s match day revenue is down by a staggering 96% compared to the same period as last year, but Woodward is hopeful United will soon be able to welcome fans back to Old Trafford.

The successful rapid rollout of vaccines and falling rate of infections in the UK makes us optimistic about the Government’s roadmap out of the lockdown, including plans for the gradual reopening of sports stadia to spectators beginning this spring.”

“Initially this will be with limits on capacity, but we are hopeful of crowds ramping back up to full capacity next season.”

“It is almost 12 months since the pandemic began to tighten its grip on the UK and we were required to close Old Trafford to supporters. As I’ve said before, their absence has only highlighted the importance of fans to the fabric of football, and we can’t wait to welcome them back.”

However, while match days have not been the same, we are proud to have played our part in keeping football going to maintain a precious source of entertainment and community for fans around the world.”

“I want to pay tribute in particular to our coaching, medical and support staff who have enabled this hectic schedule of matches to continue in very difficult circumstances.”

Woodward was also keen to highlight the support United had provided to their local community during the last year, reaching as many of 93,000 people.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the club and our Foundation have together provided over £5 million of charitable support to good causes.”

“This reflects our commitment to being a positive force in society and a source of pride for our fans. It also reflects the dedication of all our employees, and the robustness of our finances fuelled by our commercial business, in responding to this once-in-a-century level crisis.”

SOURCE : forbes

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