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Woodward Talks Money

Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has given an insight into how the club’s spending might be in the years to come. The former accountant has all but confirmed United’s intention to sign world-class players and told investors that the Old Trafford club predict that they could be the first in England to generate half a billion pounds in revenue.

Woodward was asked by an investor if 2015 was the peak year for capital investment on players.

“Was 2015 a peak? I think it’s impossible to answer that question,” Woodward replied

“We have seen a large number of ins and outs in terms of the squad in the last couple of summer windows.”

“We have previously guided on a more modest number in and out. It is a number-times-price calculation – the number can vary and obviously the price can vary quite materially based on who you are purchasing so it is difficult for us to guide on that.”

“As we look to the new season, we are enthusiastic about our strong position, both on and off the pitch. In recent weeks, we have further strengthened our squad with an exciting mix of ­experience and youth, qualified for the group stage of the Uefa Cham­pions League, and seen an impressive launch of our partnership with Adidas. Our record revenue and EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] guidance for 2016 reflects the underlying strength of our business and our confidence in its continued growth.”

[Quotes via the Telegraph]

United announced on Thursday that they would seek to raise £257.5 million by selling new shares on the New York Stock Exchange, but this was overshadowed by the news that the Glazer family will have shareholder dividends that pays around £15m a year to the Glazer children, who own around 80% of Manchester United shares.

The news has spurred outrage among fans, who believe the money should be reinvested into the club.