Ed Woodward, chief executive of Manchester United, promised to invest in the Red Devils' ailing squad after revealing positive Q3 financial results for the Old Trafford club.
As the Associated Press reported, via Sports Illustrated, "Revenue rose by 26 percent to 115.5 million pounds ($193 million)" during the first three months of 2014.
Despite United's worst-ever Premier League season, significant investments can be made in new players, as acknowledged by Woodward and tweeted by Paul Kelso of Sky News:
#MUFC Q3 results, revenue up 26% to £115m. Ed Woodward "This puts us in a healthy financial position to continue to invest in the squad" 1/2— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) May 15, 2014
2/2 #MUFC "Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title & trophies next season"— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) May 15, 2014
#MUFC pre-tax profit for Q3 £20m. Debt down to £351.7m— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) May 15, 2014
Dan Roan of BBC News provided further quotes and also highlighted the approximate sum David Moyes received for his sacking:
Woodward: "We will be active in the transfer market..the window is open...deals are being done."— Dan Roan (@danroan) May 15, 2014
Investor asks Utd chiefs about Moyes pay-off after being sacked. Will be revealed next week but for now admit "single digit million pounds"— Dan Roan (@danroan) May 15, 2014
United's drop from Premier League champions to seventh signals the need for a complete overhaul at the Theatre of Dreams. Moyes' tenure was swallowed up by poor results, a lack of understanding with his players and, inevitably, the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson. His exit in April surprised few.
Louis van Gaal is widely reported to be the Scotsman's successor, as noted by Mark Ogden of The Telegraph. He will be tasked with rebuilding a squad that carries a plethora of deadwood, while also replacing outgoing veterans such as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. This will only be achieved through money, especially when United's alleged targets are taken into account.
Reports suggest the club are on the brink of securing Southampton's Luke Shaw for £30 million, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian. Potential interest in Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus may cost €35 million (roughly £28.6 million), according to Marcus Christenson of the same publication.
Bayern's Toni Kroos would likely cost at least £25 million, as noted by John Edwards of the Mail Online, indicating it could be an expensive summer. Whether the aforementioned deals go ahead remains to be seen, but it's clear United will be forced to mobilise significant funds if they are to become title challengers once more.
United's failure to qualify for next season's Champions League stands to lose the club up to £70 million, per Richard Jolly of ESPN FC, although Woodward expects the number to be smaller, via Martin Ziegler of the Press Association:
Man Utd vice-chairman Ed Woodward says cost of not being in CL next season as "mid- £30millions".— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) May 15, 2014
The lack of European football may also discourage some targets from wishing to join, but the club is doing what it can to stop this season's failures from having a lasting effect.
Which sum is closest to what Manchester United will spend in the summer?
A lucrative tour is planned during pre-season, while the onset of a record-breaking kit deal may significantly strengthen financial numbers. Ogden suggests United are "coming under increasing pressure" to secure a £600 million contract with either Nike or Adidas, which is expected to "at least" double Madrid's current £31 million-a-year deal with the latter.
The club's latest numbers suggest fans can expect a busy summer. Last year's shenanigans remain fresh in the memory, as Moyes' inability to land key targets, such as Cesc Fabregas, Sami Khedira and Daniele De Rossi, via ESPN.co.uk, signalled the season ahead would be a struggle. It certainly was, meaning United now have to make up for lost time on their domestic rivals.
Woodward, accused by corners of support for letting Moyes down in the transfer market, will also need to prove himself a shrewd businessman in the coming weeks.