Manchester United: Ed Woodward says he is right man to take club forward
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says he is the right man to be in charge at Old Trafford and that the club's owners are “in it for the long term”.
United were one point above the relegation zone before facing leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
Woodward and the Glazers are blamed by many for United's current predicament.
In an interview with fanzine United We Stand, Woodward insists he is the right man for the job. “Yes [I am],” he said.
“I understand the scrutiny; it's part of the job. And I don't want to be famous and can't be mates with the players.
“But we have to do everything we possibly can to get back to winning the Premier League. We are not successful until we do. Second is not success – we have to win the Premier League.”
United have not managed a sustained title challenge since Woodward replaced David Gill as chief executive in 2013, at the same time as Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
However, many feel United's problems go back much further – to 2005, when the Glazer family took ownership of the club through a heavily-leveraged buy-out, with the issues only masked by Ferguson's managerial brilliance.
There has been speculation in recent months that the Glazer family may be looking to cash in on their investment. More recently, it has been suggested Kevin Glazer, a club director, is on the brink of selling his shares.
However, Woodward says conversations with the Glazer brothers most involved with the day-to-day running of the club, Joel and Avi, have given no indication of an exit strategy.
And, while hundreds of millions of pounds have been paid out in debt repayments and interest, plus share dividends, Woodward feels United are a well-run organisation.
“The debt is long-term, structured and similar to some other football clubs,” he said.
“It's just under 2% of our annual revenue so it doesn't really have any impact on us. If you look at the way the approach changed under the Glazers for commercial activity, that has brought in an extra £2.5-£3bn. We have spent a lot of money on players.
“We are financially strong. We are self-sustaining. We don't have an umbilical cord that we are concerned about. There's negativity about us doing sponsorship deals but they allow us to do things in the transfer market which other clubs struggle to do.
“We absolutely feel we are on the right track to getting back to winning trophies.”
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