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Ed Woodward insists Man Utd are still rebuilding team and backs Solskjaer’s ‘philosophy’ of playing as club announce record £627.1m revenues – The Sun

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is the right man to see through Manchester United's process of rebuilding, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has insisted despite the latest debacle.

Sunday's defeat to West Ham continued the Red Devils' poor form and some suggested Solskjaer could be up for the sack.

But as the United chief announced record annual revenues of £621.7million today, he insisted the club are on the right track.

Woodward stated: “We remain focused on our plan of rebuilding the team and continuing to strengthen our youth system, in line with the philosophy of the club and the manager.

"This is reflected in the recent addition of three exciting first team players, key player contract extensions and the talent we have coming through our academy.

"Everyone at Manchester United is committed to delivering on our primary objective of winning trophies.”

That "philosophy" talked up by Woodward, including the plethora of young signings made in the summer, may not be reaping rewards yet but he was clear that it won't change any time soon.

He continued: "We and our global fanbase demand success and winning trophies – that target and standard has never changed. The progress on the business side underpins the football operation.

"Much progress has been made on the academy, recruitment department and the training ground, and behind the scenes, so this isn’t always apparent.

"These investments we have made and our commitment to Ole in March provide the building blocks for success.

"We are wholly confident this approach will deliver, but it is important to be patient as we build for the future.

'DISTRACTIONS'

Woodward even credited his staff for not getting distracted by the transfer rumours circulated around Old Trafford.

The 47-year-old noted: "We won’t be influenced by short terms distractions.

"The club was linked with hundreds of players, but despite this our recruitment department was able to approach the window in focused and disciplined way.

"Danny James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire joined a strong squad and we also renewed contracts for players like Marcus Rashford and David De Gea. We are optimistic for the future.

"The sale and loaning of players allowed the manager to involve more young players, providing a firm foundation and culture ready for building next trophy winning squad.

The root of the club is youth-led attacking football, and it is the right way forward.

"Much speculation is focused on recruitment and it is area we’ve evolved. The players signed demonstrate this approach is right.

"The root of the club is youth-led attacking football, and it is the right way forward. Everyone from the manager, players and board remains resolute in the desire to get Manchester United to the top of English football.

"We will continue to make the necessary investment to make this happen."

Having posted record revenues, the club's operating profit for the 2019 fiscal year has been named at £50m.

However next year's forecast predicts a drop in revenue to between £560m and £580m owing to the club's lack of Champions League football.

Many irate fans have targeted Woodward as the figurehead of the much-lamented Glazers' era.

Tuesday's figures showed a reduction in the net debt built up by the American owners, now at £253.7m and – according to Manchester Evening News – the lowest it has been since 2005.

Despite the record revenue, commercial income actually dropped by 0.7 per cent from the previous year, to £257.1m.

That was offset by a huge 18.1 per cent leap in broadcasting revenue, which topped £241m, and slight increase in matchday earnings.

United stated their economic success owes to ten "new or renewed global sponsorship deals" and a following of "1.1 billion" fans.

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