Ed Woodward says Manchester United are still “absolutely commited” to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as part of their financial statements, which they have accidentally released early.
Woodward’s words of support for the Norwegian were contained in the Premier League club’s first-quarter financial results, which were released a day early in error and show an operating loss of £27.1million.
Solskjaer’s position at Old Trafford has come under increased scrutiny following an unconvincing start to the season, with Mauricio Pochettino widely linked to the job.
United sit 14th in the table following disappointing home defeats to Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal, which were compounded by a shock Champions League loss to Turkish club Istanbul Baseksehir.
“On the pitch, while there is still hard work ahead to achieve greater consistency, we remain absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole as the team continues to develop,” said executive vice-chairman Woodward.
Financial details were mistakenly made public on Thursday evening due to a blunder from the US-based publisher of United’s regulatory statements.
Results for the 2021 fiscal first quarter – ended September 30 – show United operated at a loss of £27.1m. The club made an £11m profit during the same quarter last year.
Overall revenue was £109m, a drop of 19.5 per cent.
With fixtures being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, United’s revenue continues to be adversely affected.
Matchday revenue dropped dramatically, falling 92.3 per cent from £22.1m to 1.7m, while commercial revenue plummeted 25.7 per cent to £59.7m.
Broadcasting revenue rises
However, broadcasting revenue rose – from £32.9m to £47.6m – as a result of the delayed 2019-20 Premier League campaign being completed in July.
The club’s net debt stands at £440.6m, a 14.6 per cent rise from last year’s 384.5m.
Shareholders will receive a divided of 0.09 dollars per share (£0.069).
Woodward added: “While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption, we are optimistic that the recovery and normalisation phase is gradually coming into view.
“The club’s resilience and our strong commercial business continue to provide a solid foundation and gives us confidence in our long-term outlook beyond the pandemic, both on and off the pitch.”