Categories: SPORT

Ed Woodward describes Manchester United’s torrid season as ‘turbulent’


Ed Woodward describes Manchester United’s torrid season as ‘turbulent’ but vows to back manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer

  • Ed Woodward has had his say on Manchester United’s miserable season
  • The executive vice chairman has released the club’s figures for the third quarter
  • United finished sixth and missed out on securing a Champions League place
  • Woodward vowed to give boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer funds to rebuild his squad

Ed Woodward has vowed to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer transfer market following a ‘turbulent’ season at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United executive vice chairman, who has come under fire following the club’s fall from grace post-Sir Alex Ferguson, declared that funds are available to strengthen on and off-the-field as the Premier League giants seek a rapid improvement.

United, who sacked Jose Mourinho in December, missed out on securing a Champions League place after an upturn in form under Solksjaer evaporated.

Ed Woodward has branded Manchester United’s miserable season as ‘turbulent’ on Thursday

They won just two of their last 12 matches, culminating in an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at home to relegated Cardiff City, which left them in a lowly sixth place.

Solskjaer, who is chasing Swansea City winger Dan James, 21, is expected to rebuild, with an emphasis placed on emerging, hungry talent.

He is also looking to vastly improve fitness levels, with a source telling Sportsmail the Norwegian has been ‘stunned’ by how out-of-shape some of United’s squad are.

Woodward, who disclosed that work had already started on improving the squad, acknowledged that United need to do better.

United finished sixth and missed out on a Champions League place following a shocking year

‘After a turbulent season, everyone is focused on building towards the success that this great club expects and our fans deserve,’ he added, speaking as United announced their latest financial results.

‘It clearly didn’t end the way we hoped, finishing sixth place, and with a disruptive managerial change part way through. Everyone at the club – the board, the manager, the squad and all the staff are resolute in our desire to get United back to the top of English football. We continually look to improve staff on and off the pitch to achieve this.’

It would appear that money is no object. ‘The strength of our business means we have the financial resources to continue to provide backing for the manager in creating success on the pitch,’ Woodward added. ‘This, as ever, remains our number one goal.’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a mammoth task in rebuilding his playing squad this summer

In spite of their poor performance, United’s wage bill increased by £9.7m in the quarter year on year, thanks mainly to the arrivals of the likes of flops Alexis Sanchez and Fred.

Despite on the field issues, the club are still forecasting a turnover of between £615m and £630m this year, which would break their own record for a British outfit.

United’s debt, a legacy of the Glazer family’s leveraged takeover, rose from £301.3m to £301.7m.

In a conference call with investors yesterday afternoon, Woodward said that United were ‘deeply involved’ in discussions over planned changes to European club competitions and added that they supported a new, expanded Club World Cup.

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