Football

Devils a healthy black

After healthy financial report, Woodward vows significant investment to take United back to the top

Failure to qualify for European football next season will cost Manchester United more than £30 million ($63m), the club said yesterday, though the Red Devils would still have the financial muscle to boost their squad.

There was no word from the club, owned by the American Glazer family, on the identity of the new manager after the departure of David Moyes last month following a failed first season in charge.

According to media reports in the UK, United, English champions a record 20 times, are set to confirm Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal as their new manager.

But, speaking to financial analysts, United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said only that the club would make an announcement in "due course" on the new manager and remained active in the transfer market.

"Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team are back challenging for the title and trophies next season," Woodward said, in a statement as the club released their latest financial results.

He added that United had generated record revenue and profit in the three months to the end of March, despite the problems on the pitch.

"This puts us in a healthy financial position to continue to invest in the squad," he said.

United have already been linked with a multi-million pound move for 18-year old Southampton fullback Luke Shaw, whose form this year has earned him a call-up to the England squad for next month's World Cup in Brazil, though the club also made no comment on possible signings yesterday.

The likes of German internationals Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich) and Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Everton's Ross Barkley and Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani have also been linked with the club.

Any deal will be helped by United's financial muscle.

Revenue in the three months to March rose 26 per cent to £115.5m and operating profit reached £40m.

For the year as a whole, the club stuck to their forecast for revenue of between £420m and £430m and an operating profit of £128m to £133m.

Woodward described United's seventh-place finish as "very disappointing".

But he vowed that United would look to make significant investment during the close-season in a bid to return to the upper echelons of the English game in 2014-15.

"The club's expectations - and you will see this reflected in the transfer market and what we have recently done from a managerial perspective - are absolutely to get back into the Champions League," he said.

"We will be active in the transfer market and deals will be done."

United's coffers will be further boosted by a new shirt sponsorship deal that will involve players wearing the logo of General Motors' Chevrolet marque on their famous red shirts from the start of next season.

The club are also facing a major decision on a new retail partner as their current contract with Nike expires next year, with many analysts expecting a world-record deal involving a renewal with the American brand or a new marriage with adidas. 
- Wire Services.


“Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team are back challenging for the title and trophies next season.”

— United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward