Manchester United Earnings Conference: Ed Woodward Tells Investors To Expect Summer Shake Up

The Manchester United Earnings Conference for fiscal Q2, 2016, took place today, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward revealed plans for next summer, saying that the club will be busy in the transfer window. Woodward also said that Manchester United will announce plans for restructuring the club’s youth system in the near future. As reported by Manchester Evening News, Woodward said that Manchester United’s “academy continues to be the heart of the club.”

“Giving youth a chance is part of our philosophy, part of our DNA. We took the departure of Brian McClair last summer as an opportunity to do a root and branch review of the academy, that’s now complete and changes are underway. Announcements will follow in the coming days.”

During the Manchester United Earnings Conference, Woodward revealed that the company reported a massive improvement in quarterly broadcast and commercial revenue from the same period last year. Manchester United’s broadcast revenue increased by 31.3 percent to GBP 37.3 million, while the commercial revenue was up 42.5 percent to GBP 66.1 million. As such, the company remains on course to report record revenues in June this year for fiscal 2016.

The Manchester United executive vice-chairman stressed that success off the pitch will translate to success on the pitch citing the club’s fledging achievements in other areas especially in terms of sponsorship deals. On the other hand, Manchester United has failed to perform on the pitch, despite spending more than GBP 250 million over the last 18 months.

Over the last few transfer windows, the Chinese Super League has been one of the biggest spenders pricing out players from top European clubs.

When asked about what impact the Asian league could have in the next transfer window, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said, “So far, this is the biggest window in preparation for the next season, so I do think there’ll be more activity in the summer, but it’s very, very difficult to predict the impact that will have.”

Woodward also added that the Chinese Super League could be useful for Manchester United’s shake up plans, saying “If nothing else, it’s another useful market if we’re looking to sell any players.”

This suggests that Manchester United could be ready to overhaul the squad for the right price and the Chinese Super League, which broke the local transfer record three times in the most recent transfer window, could provide the best option.

Interestingly, there was no mention of Manchester United manager’s position during the Earnings Conference, which came at a surprise to many. Manchester United stakeholders and especially the fans expected a statement from the club with regard to the way forward following a difficult campaign in 2015/2016 season.

Over the last two weeks, there have been talks that Jose Mourinho had already agreed to terms in principle to takeover at Manchester United next summer. Early this week, the Independent reported that Manchester United had held talks with Jose Mourinho with a view to replacing Louis van Gaal at the end of the season.

Yesterday, several reports emerged saying that Mourinho had indicated that the Manchester United deal was done and sealed, as illustrated in this Teamtalk article. Unquoted sources claimed that Jose Mourinho had told close friends that the Manchester United “deal is done.”

However, no questions were asked with regard to this subject during the most recent Manchester United Earnings Conference. Some football pundits also reckon that Ed Woodward’s silence on the matter could be a strong indication that whatever has been written in the media is actually true, thereby spelling the end of Louis van Gaal’s era at Manchester United.

As such, Manchester United could be about to make one of the largest overhauls in the club’s history next summer, with the possibility of Louis van Gaal being replaced by Jose Mourinho while several players leave with new ones joining. However, Manchester United must make sure that their next manager is the right one this time.

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