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Wednesday 19 December 2018

'We're fully United'

Defiant Woodward says Jose has the backing of Reds squad

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho
Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward

Ed Woodward insisted Jose Mourinho and his squad remain "fully united" despite a "mixed" start to the season.

Speaking on a conference call after the release of Manchester United's latest quarterly financial results, Woodward addressed the club's eighth-placed position in the Premier League table.

Last weekend's loss to Manchester City again focused attention on Mourinho's position as manager, but executive vice chairman Woodward said: "We remain well positioned in the Champions League.

"Although we have had a mixed start in the Premier League, the squad and manager are fully united in their aim to improve the current position."

Woodward, meanwhile, maintained the club remain on track for record annual income despite a dip over the last three months.

United's revenue of £135million for what is termed the first quarter of 2019 was down from £143.7million in the same period last year.

Commercial and matchday revenue were down, along with operating profit, with broadcasting revenue - up £2million to £42.8million - the only area showing growth.

It is understood the difference can be attributed largely to the fixture schedule, which meant United played two fewer home games than in the same period 12 months before.

United brought in £590million in the year ending June 30, 2018, with revenue expected to rise to between £615m and £630m over the coming financial year.

Woodward said: "Our financial strength enables us to continue to attract and retain top players and to invest in our academy, as we look to drive the success on the pitch that the club and our fans expect.

"We remain on track to deliver our record full-year revenue guidance, underpinning our long-term, strategic plan to create sustainable growth across all areas of the club."

Wages rose £7.1million to £77million while a smaller summer tour resulted in decreased sponsorship revenue but reduced operating expenses of £28.6million, a decrease of £5.9million.

Woodward also reacted to the appointment of Susanna Dinnage as the Premier League's new chief executive, saying he expects much of her time to be taken up negotiating with Europe.

He added: "She comes with a strong media CV. I expect her to continue the work already done to look at possible other ways to monetise TV rights. We're looking forward to working with her."

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