Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says he’s looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal though he may not have it as easy as he would like.
Two contrasting statements from the United camp this week make interesting reading.
One, Woodward on potentially smashing the club’s transfer record: “There is a philosophy in the club about wanting to see the best players playing for Manchester United,” he told media in Los Angeles where United are currently on tour.
“The reality is that we’re not afraid of spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market. Whether it’s a record or not doesn’t really resonate with us.
“What resonates is a top, top elite player that the manager wants that is going to be a star for Manchester United.
“The club is not afraid of [spending £60 million-£70 million] to do that. There is no budget, there is money. We are in a very strong financial position and we can make big signings.”
Two, Van Gaal on meeting all the club’s commercial ventures while also trying to prepare a team to play at the highest level: “You have to travel distances, you have to fly a lot, you also have jetlag – that is not very positive for a good preparation,” said the Dutchman.
“The tour was already arranged so I have to adapt – and Manchester United shall do everything to adapt to my rules for good preparation,” he added.
Woodward has already specified how important travel and the global marketing of the united brand was on Monday.
“The Premier League has been very clear in saying America is the number one developing market,” he said.
“This is a very good country from a potential sponsorship perspective.”
United do not sit still. They have travelled outside Europe in every pre-season since 2002 and last summer they voyaged nearly 25,000 miles to include a week in far-flung Australia.
“I hope that. And I am very confident that it shall be,” was Van Gaal’s response to a question on whether next year’s pre-season tour would be shorter.
Interesting indeed. Will United get another Sir Alex Ferguson in Van Gaal, who effectively becomes the club’s ruler?
Or given these changing times, where Woodward and co quite rightly have one eye on sponsorship deals and did well to secure the Adidas signature given the club’s poor form last season, will the money men reign at Old Trafford?
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