Manchester United is set to reduce its activity in the transfer market in upcoming windows, one of the club’s senior executives said on Thursday, following an overhaul of the squad after the arrival of new manager Erik ten Hag.
United was one of the biggest spenders in Europe in the summer transfer window, with an outlay approaching $250 million on players including Antony, Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez. The record 20-time English champions reported a net loss of 115.5 million pounds ($130 million) for the 2021-22 season, with the net debt under their unpopular owners — Glazer family — rising 95.4 million pounds ($107.5 million) to 514.9 million pounds ($580 million). That’s an increase of 22%.
The influx of new players is starting to take effect, with United winning its last four English Premier League games after opening with back-to-back losses that put Ten Hag under some pressure. “We will continue to support Erik in ensuring he has players with the right quality and characters to achieve success, while ensuring that investment remains consistent with our commitment to financial sustainability,” John Murtough, United’s football director, said on a call to investors.
“Overall, we are ahead of schedule in our recruitment plans as envisaged at the start of the summer, and we do not anticipate the same level of activity in future windows.” United chief financial officer Cliff Baty said the club’s financial results were adversely affected by the absence of a summer tour in July 2021 and the impact of the weakening of the pound on some non-cash finance costs.
United’s revenues rose by 18%, to 583 million pounds ($657 million). Baty said the club expects to have revenues of 580-600 million pounds ($655-677 million) for the next financial year despite the team being in the Europa League this season and not the more lucrative Champions League. Following the signings in 2021 of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, United’s wage bill rose by 19.1% to 384.2 million pounds ($433.6 million) — the highest in the Premier League according to the latest figures released by clubs.
Payoffs to managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was fired in November, and Ralf Rangnick, who replaced Solskjaer on an interim basis and then did not take up a two-year consultancy role at the end of the season, and their associated coaching staff contributed to the cost of “exceptional items” amounting to 24.7 million pounds ($27.9 million).