Manchester United 'fully united' to regain momentum after 'mixed' start, says Ed Woodward

Woodward claimed Jose Mourinho and the players are determined to 'regain momentum'

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Thursday 15 November 2018 14:34 GMT
Ed Woodward admitted Manchester United's start to the season has been 'mixed'
Ed Woodward admitted Manchester United's start to the season has been 'mixed'

Ed Woodward has claimed that Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United players are “fully united” in a bid to regain momentum after an admittedly “mixed” start to the season.

Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, was speaking to investors following the release of the club’s first quarter financial results on Thursday.

United currently sit eighth in the Premier League table, 12 points behind pace-setters Manchester City and with a -1 goal difference, having lost four of their opening 12 games.

In his opening statement to investors on a lunchtime conference call, Woodward admitted United’s start to the new domestic season could be better but said everyone at the club was working to improve results.

“On the pitch, we remain well positioned in the Champions League, and although we have had a mixed start to our domestic campaign, the squad and the manager are fully united in their determination to regain our momentum in the Premier League,” he said.

Mourinho’s position came under scrutiny earlier this season following a difficult start to the new campaign, though four wins in six games eased pressure on the Portuguese before Sunday’s 3-1 Manchester derby defeat to City.

Speculation over Mourinho’s future persists, however, and United lag behind their rivals in the race to claim a top-four finish and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Jose Mourinho: Manchester United won't be affected by derby defeat

In his call with investors, Woodward highlighted “investment in the first-team squad” and contract renewals for Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw as evidence of United’s financial strength and long-term plan for success and growth.

“These player investments, along with the investment in the club’s academy, come as a direct result of our ongoing commercial and financial strength, and underpin our long-term strategic plan to create sustainable growth over all areas of the club,” he said.

“Over the summer we had a good pre-season tour to the US, and while we couldn’t have all of the first team squad with us due to many of our players advancing deep into the knockout stage of the World Cup, it provided a good opportunity for many of our emerging prospects to experience being part of the first-team set-up,” Woodward added.

“We’re looking forward to a number of them making the successful transition to the first team, like many before them, including Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira of the current squad.”

United’s revenues fell to £135million compared to the prior year, a decrease of 6.1 per cent, due a shorter pre-season tour and fewer games at Old Trafford at the start of the season.

The club still expects to post record end-of-year revenues of between £615m and £650m. United's gross debt stands at £492m, more than 13 years on from the Glazer family's leveraged buy-out of the club for a debt of £525m.

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