Challenging Ed Woodward's boast about Manchester United spending

Ed Woodward has been quoted by ESPN talking up Manchester United’s spending under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But does it really add up?

Woodward has also promised more funds will be available to Solskjaer in the coming summer, which he says represents a real opportunity for United to put together a squad capable of challenging for honours.

As ever with Woodward, there are holes in his statements, not least that his spending fails to account for player sales.

VI Images via Getty Images

What did Woodward say?

Woodward said: “We see this coming summer as an important opportunity. “There has been no shortage of investment… with over £200 million spent since Ole became manager.

“Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop.

It is the overwhelming priority of everyone at the club to get us back to regularly challenging for Premier League and Champions League titles.”

What about player sales?

Alessandro Sabattini/Inter via Getty Images

United have signed four players since Solskjaer was appointed. Harry Maguire cost £80 million (BBC), Daniel James cost £18 million (Sky Sports), Aaron Wan-Bissaka £50 million (BBC) and Bruno Fernandes for £47 million (BBC).

That comes in at £192 million – under Woodward’s stated total – but most importantly does not account for player sales.

BBC reported in the summer that United recouped £74 million for Romelu Lukaku, but the club have still not recruited a permanent replacement.

Selling Lukaku was the right course of action but it was clear at the time that United needed a replacement.

Six months later and United fans are still waiting for Woodward to use that money to buy a new frontman, but they are hearing him talk big about his spending record and put out more nonsense about how good the club’s recruitment policy is.

There have been small fees accrued for Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini too during Solskjaer’s tenure.

Suddenly United’s boast about ‘investment’ does not look so impressive. And there’s not so must to boast about signing Bruno Fernandes six months too late either.

Nobody is going to be buying his promises about a big summer in terms of net spend, when the reality is a Paul Pogba sale could offset any investment.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.