Ed Woodward rules out big-money transfers as Man Utd chief warns fans must accept post-coronavirus ‘realities’ – The Sun

ED WOODWARD says football needs to forget about big money transfer business this summer.

The Manchester United chief laid out the stark realities for all clubs in lockdown as he addressed a fans forum on Friday.

And part of that will be very different transfer market from the past with clubs now financially damaged from the halting of the season due to the coronavirus.

Woodward said: “Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.

“As ever our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.

“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”

Woodward has overseen a spend of over £700million at United in the last seven years and United’s wealth and huge sponsorship revenues will protect them more than most.

But it is clear they will take a hit too and like all clubs are preparing for a very different footballing world after lockdown.

Games may need to be played behind closed doors, but we recognise that football will not be back to normal until supporters are in attendance."

Woodward admitted that in the short term games may now be played behind closed doors.

He said: “Like all of you, we are eager to see the team return to the field as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so, hopefully to complete a season which still held so much promise for us in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup when it was suspended.

“We are in constant dialogue with our governing bodies about when and how that will happen and we will continue to engage with this Forum to keep fans consulted.

“And while it may be that games need to be played behind closed doors in the shorter term, we all recognise that football will not be fully back to normal until supporters are once again in attendance.”

Woodward also reminded the forum of the initiatives they have taken in the community to help the NHS and the most vulnerable while continuing to pay staff without reverting to the furloughing of staff.

On the NHS in particular Woodward said: “On behalf of everyone at Manchester United, I want to pay tribute to the heroic work being done by the NHS and all key workers in fighting the virus.

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