The Coronavirus has not spared any football club in its virulent spread throughout Europe. Even a club the size of Manchester United is having to respond to the crisis; Ed Woodward has recently thrown doubt onto any big-money moves for United with his latest statement, as reported by Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.
Big-Money Moves Thrown Into Doubt for Manchester United With Ed Woodward’s Latest Statement
The Coronavirus Taking Away Normality
The Coronavirus has taken away any sort of normality for virtually everyone in the world; Europe was one of the worst-hit continents.
It has been over a month since all five major leagues decided to suspend matches until further notice; despite efforts from many countries, the virus has not stopped, infecting and killing thousands across the World.
Already, two leagues have decided to cancel the rest of the season. Belgium’s First Division A decided in early April that enough was enough; they declared current leaders Club Brugge as champions.
The Eredivisie of the Netherlands made the call more recently, but instead of attempting to salvage the campaign in some way, it was declared null and void with no winners or relegation.
In terms of clubs, everyone from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain have been affected, and won’t be able to make the same calibre of transfers they would have hoped for in the summer. United are also in this boat, and Ed Woodward recently shed light on their situation.
The rather unpopular United vice-chairman told fans on the quarterly fans’ forum conference call that any move for 100s of millions of pounds is unrealistic due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Red Devils have been linked with multiple transfers for around this sum over the past month, including Harry Kane for £200 million, Jadon Sancho for £120 million, Kalidou Koulibaly for £90 million, and Jack Grealish for £60 million.
These comments have now thrown doubt onto whether the Red Devils will make any of the above moves, and with some more important than others, they may only see very few players arrive at the Theatre of Dreams this summer, a major blow to their rebuild.
Woodward’s full statement is below:
“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 the 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.
“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.”