With new financial results released, Ed Woodward has spoken about Manchester United’s progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season ahead of the Manchester derby. He probably hoped for a better time to address the media after United’s recent run of three 0-0 results on the trot.
He still says people at the club are optimistic about their chances of success in the future, despite their failure to mount a serious challenge in the Premier League or UEFA Champions League.
United crashed out of the Champions League group stages in December but still have the Europa League to play for. As well as that they trail champions-elect Man City by 14 points with 11 games to play in the league.
We could clutch for straws and say second place is still up for grabs. It’s in our control, but as Gary Neville put it during the week, United are sleepwalking their way into a top four race when things could be a lot more comfortable.
Executive vice-chairman Woodward spoke about United’s progress in a statement attached to the club’s financial results for the second quarter for the period ended December 31 2020.
As per the Manchester Evening News, United’s revenue was down 7% year-on-year to £281.8m and the debt increased 16% to £455.5m. Profits are down 7%, amounting to £33.6m.
Woodward said (via MEN): “As we approach a full year since our last game with fans at Old Trafford, we reflect on an extraordinary challenging 12 months for football and society as a whole.
“The rapid rollout of vaccines in the UK and beyond gives us confidence that we are now on a path towards normality, including the return of fans to stadia.
“While the disruption to our operations remains significant, we are pleased by the tremendous resilience the club has demonstrated through the pandemic, underpinned by the dedication of our people and the strength of our commercial business.
“We have been reminded of the importance of football as a source of community, entertainment and pride to fans around the world, even as we have sorely missed them at Old Trafford.
“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.”