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What Man Utd's latest financial results mean for summer transfer plans

5:00 AM EDT 6/18/21
GFX Jadon Sancho Raphael Varane Kieran Trippier
The Red Devils are working on a number of deals, with Jadon Sancho one of their top targets as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to strengthen

Manchester United’s latest set of financial results will not have a detrimental impact on their summer transfer plans, with the club pushing ahead with signings. 

United’s quarter three results were released on Thursday evening, for January, February and March, showing just a 4 per cent decrease in revenue, despite a lack of matchday income, as only the final game of the 2020-21 season was played in front of supporters. 

Club sources say this is down to their ‘robust model’ in the pandemic and, despite losing over £100 million ($139m) due to the impact of Covid-19, they are pledging to strengthen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this summer. 

What did the results say? 

The figures released showed revenue was down £21.7m ($30m) and that was mainly due to the lack of fans being allowed into Old Trafford. Ten thousand were admitted for the final Premier League home game of the season against Fulham but all other fixtures had to be played behind closed doors. 

The decrease was relatively small at 4% due to an increase in broadcasting revenue as more games were played in this quarter in comparison to this time last year. 

The net debt sits at £443.5m ($616m), an increase of 3.4% from last year, while the report confirmed dividend payments of £10.7m ($15m), the majority of which will go to the Glazer family, who own the controlling amount of the shares. 

What does this mean for transfers?

Joel Glazer defended the dividend payments and level of debt at the club when he spoke to fans at a forum meeting earlier this month. The club’s co-chairman said it did not impact on their ability to do business in the transfer window and has pledged to back Solskjaer in the current window. 

It is understood the club are currently exploring potential deals for Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier. 

United are optimistic about Sancho signing, a year after they failed to land the England international from Borussia Dortmund due to a gap in valuation, despite having their initial bid rejected last week.

Any deals are subject to suitable fees being agreed in the window. It is understood United and Atletico Madrid, where Trippier has spent the last two seasons, are far apart on their valuation of the right-back.  

What next? 

Despite their commitment to spend, club sources say there needs to still be realism in the window and, while they are still feeling the financial effects of the pandemic, it will not be a ‘£450m summer.’ 

Solskjaer is hoping for up to three signings in order to compete for the title next season. A right winger, centre-back, central midfielder and a striker are all being considered, as well as a potential move for Trippier. 

What has Ed Woodward said? 

The club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sent a message to the fans in the release of the financial results. 

"The absence of fans over the past year has proved that they are the lifeblood of the game," Woodward said. "Following the successful return of limited numbers at the end of last season, and continued trials of increased crowds at sports events this summer, we remain optimistic about the prospect of fans returning to Old Trafford in larger numbers going forwards.

"With the foundations for long-term success in place, including significant initiatives to strengthen engagement with our supporters, we look forward to the upcoming season."

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