Mourinho and players ‘fully united’ in bid to turn Man Utd season around - Woodward

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The executive vice-chair was speaking in an investors’ call as United reported a £7.1m rise in wages following Alexis Sanchez’s arrival

Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United players are ‘fully united’ in their determination to get their season back on course, the club’s executive vice-chair Ed Woodward said on Thursday.

United headed into the international break sitting in eighth place in the Premier League following their 3-1 derby loss to Manchester City on Sunday, and they are now 12 points adrift of their league-leading neighbours.

But Woodward insisted that, despite talk of rifts between players and manager which have dogged their progress so far, the playing staff are unified in their hope to get their league campaign back on track.

“On the pitch we remain well positioned in the Champions League, and although we’ve 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,” Woodward told investors.

He was speaking after the release of the club’s financial results for the first quarter of 2018-19, which detailed a significant raise in salary costs following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January.

United’s total wage bill for the quarter ending September 30, 2018 was £77 million, an increase of £7.1m (10.2 per cent) on the same period in 2017-18 before the winter signing of the Chilean attacker.

The club have also handed new contracts to Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw since the spring, but it is the £390,000 weekly wage of Sanchez which has seemingly had the biggest impact on the club’s costs.

Alexis Sanchez Manchester United 2018-19

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There was also some regression in revenues, with commercial incomings being down 5.7% year-on-year and matchday revenues having dropped 27.2%. However, the club reported that the reduction in commercial money is in large part due to them having undergone a shorter summer tour in 2018.

Meanwhile, managing director Richard Arnold added that the £6.1m drop in matchday revenue was entirely foreseen due to the one-game reduction in both Premier League and Champions League home fixtures before the end of September compared to last season.

As a result, the total revenue loss of £8.7m is expected to be made up during the current financial quarter, which ends on December 31, 2018.

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