Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned that the club will not be in a position to throw huge sums of money at the transfer market this summer because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on income and revenue.
Every club has been forced to play without lucrative matchday revenue for the past year, while there has also been big hits in other respects. United usually turn a healthy profit every season, but with income way down, last year’s figure revealed a loss, while the club will soon release the next quarterly results for this season that are expected to show more of the same.
United have been less hard hit than some Premier League sides because of the club’s enormous portfolio of commercial partners, but they have still not been immune.
It means that spending has to be much more carefully planned and it may be that it is only possible to do one or two deals rather than three or four, for example. A lack of transfer budget at other clubs also makes it more difficult to sell players deemed surplus to requirements.
“There are going to be less and less transfers happening with all these changes. The lack of income, the finances has affected everyone. We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do business on and off the pitch,” Solskjaer is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“There are improvements on the training ground, the stadium – we have to look at the whole picture. Where can we spend money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now.
“You can look at it in different ways with a rebuild. We have academy players we can give opportunities to. All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for us.”
With the impact of the pandemic taking hold last summer, United flat out refused to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price for Jadon Sancho in excess of £100m, despite having previously been willing to do so before the finances took a hit.
They are still keen on Sancho, with that interest mutual, but there is a hope that the circumstances at Dortmund, who may need to sell at least one big player – especially if they are to miss out on Champions League revenue – could serve to drive the price down.