Manchester United can't expect 'overnight' success - Ed Woodward
Manchester United have a clear plan of how to bring top trophies back to Old Trafford, according to executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, but he has warned supporters not to expect success "overnight".
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen a turbulent start to the season after four wins from 12 Premier League games and despite describing the campaign so far as "mixed", Woodward is confident the club is on the right track as they aim to return to the Champions League and end a six-year title drought.
"We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment," Woodward said as United announced first quarter revenue of £135.4 million -- up £0.4m on last year on year despite missing out on Champions League broadcast payments.
"The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our academy are already beginning to bear fruit.
"Our ultimate goal is to win trophies, playing fast, fluid, attacking football with a team that fuses graduates from our academy along with world-class acquisitions. We know this will not be achieved overnight, however we have made investments across the club that we believe have set us on the right path.
"Though season-to-date we have had a mixed start to our Premier League campaign, in Europe, we have qualified for the Europa League knockout stages with two games to spare. We have also progressed to the quarterfinals of the League Cup."
Woodward has hinted United will spend again ahead of next season while sources have told ESPN FC that the club are open to bringing in new players in January if long-term targets become available.
"Over the last few years, we have significantly invested in our recruitment infrastructure to augment our already strong and experienced team who are all working to a clear philosophy," Woodward said.
"This is demonstrated by the signing of Maguire, James and Wan-Bissaka, who have all settled in well.
"We will continue with our strategy to promote the best of the players graduating from our academy together with material investment in the coming summers to strengthen our young squad further and challenge for trophies. "
United are closing in on 4,000 consecutive games with an academy graduate in the matchday squad and fielded the youngest XI in the Premier League this season in the 3-1 win over Birghton.
"We have made significant investments in our academy, across recruitment, facilities and analytics and these investments are now beginning to bear fruit," Woodward added.
"We know our academy is a strong competitive advantage, and is an area that we will continue to invest in, as it is the heart of the club.
"I want to reiterate that our ability to make the investments we need to be successful on the pitch is underpinned by our continued strong financial performance."