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Ed Woodward issues Ole Gunnar Solskjaer update amid scrutiny on Manchester United boss

Daily Mirror
 2021-09-17
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Manchester United remain committed to supporting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and insist he remains the right man to take them back to the top.

Although United are currently top of the Premier League, Solskjaer has come under pressure over his failure to deliver a trophy in two-and-a-half seasons in charge.

United's 2-1 defeat to Swiss qualifiers Young Boys in their Champions League opener this week piled further pressure and trained more scrutiny on Solskjaer and his position.

But United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insisted the club remain convinced Solskajer is the right man for the job and will support him accordingly.

Ahead of the release of United's annual financial results, Woodward pointed to the recruitment of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho as proof of the club's ongoing faith in Solskajer.

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Ed Woodward has pointed to the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo as part of their continued faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ( Image: PETER POWELL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

“We significantly strengthened the squad over the summer, with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton,” said Woodward.

“These signings have demonstrated our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, and our firm commitment to helping Ole deliver success on the pitch.

“While squad-building is a constant process, we are more confident than ever that we are on the right track.

“This was made possible by the strength of our operating model, with sustained investment in the team underpinned by robust commercial revenues.

“We have been clear in our strategy to build a squad with a blend of top-class recruits and homegrown talent, comprising a balance of youth and experience, with the aim of winning trophies and playing attacking football the Manchester United way.

“Everyone associated with Manchester United can be proud of the resilience we have shown through the challenges created by the pandemic and we look forward to the rest of the season and beyond with great optimism.

“As we review our financial results for the 2021 fiscal year, there is little doubt that those 12 months were among the most challenging in the history of Manchester United.

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Solskjaer's position has come under scrutiny after the Champions League defeat to Young Boys ( Image: Getty Images)

“While the financial impact from the pandemic is visible, our continued underlying strength is also clear to see and everyone associated with the club can be proud of the resilience we have shown through these most testing of times.

“The most important part of this recovery is the return of fans to Old Trafford and it has been fantastic to see and hear the stadium full for the first time in almost 18 months.

“On the pitch, the team has made a strong start in the league, and everyone at the club is feeling excited about the rest of the campaign.”

Woodward said United's strong commercial position had enabled them to withstand the financial pressures brought on by the pandemic, while many other clubs have struggled against that backdrop.

But he warned football is at a crossroads, with spiralling wages and transfer fees putting an intolerable financial burden on many clubs, as evidenced by Barcelona's current plight, with the Spanish giants forced to let club legend Lionel Messi go this summer because they could not afford his salary.

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Ed Woodward believes Man Utd are on the right path under Solskjaer ( Image: PA)

“It is not an accident that we have been able to invest this summer at a time when many clubs have been retrenching,” said Woodward.

“This reflects the strong commercial model we have built over many years, ensuring that our spending is always underpinned by revenues that we generate ourselves.

“However, while we are confident in our relative strength, it remains clear that football as a whole faces major financial challenges caused by years of material inflation in wages and transfer fees, exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic.

“We are committed to working within the Premier League, the ECA and UEFA to promote greater financial sustainability at all levels of the game.”

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