Ed Woodward hails Ole Gunnar Solskjaer progress in Manchester United’s latest financial results

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Mark Critchley
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Ed Woodward insists Manchester United were not attempting a ‘power grab’ with their role in Project Big Picture (PA)
Ed Woodward insists Manchester United were not attempting a ‘power grab’ with their role in Project Big Picture (PA)

Ed Woodward believes Manchester United’s progress on the pitch under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is clear, as the Old Trafford club's latest set of financial figures revealed rising revenues and debt.

United's executive vice-chairman said that the impact of the pandemic remained "significant", with matchday income falling drastically by 96 per cent compared to the same period last year due to the absence of supporters.

However, United's total year-on-year revenue rose slightly to £172.8m, largely due to broadcasting income from their participation in the Champions League.

The club's net debt figure also climbed to £455.5m, a rise of £64.2m, due to the loss of matchday cash receipts and deferred sponsorship payments. The principal debt figure remains unchanged.

Woodward said that he believes the worst effects of the pandemic are coming to an end and expressed his hope of welcoming fans back to Old Trafford soon.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Woodward added: "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.”

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