A New Year's message from Ed Woodward

Thursday 31 December 2020 13:51

Ed Woodward has praised the progress made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players in the past year, as the Reds head into 2021 competing strongly in the Premier League and with three cups to pursue.

In a New Year message in the matchday programme for tomorrow’s visit of Aston Villa, the Executive Vice-Chairman said the team’s positive form, winning eight and drawing two of our last 10 domestic games, had “lifted spirits” amid the ongoing pandemic.

Woodward said the team “has coped well in challenging circumstances” without fans in stadiums, noting that we have won more points-per-game than any other Premier League club since games resumed behind closed doors in June. He also pointed to the improvement over last season, with nine more points, four more wins and eight more goals than at the same stage in 2019/20.
Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward has written a column for United Review.
“There are many positive statistics like these showing the progress made under Ole in the past year,” he wrote. “But they tell only part of the story. Just as important is the work we see being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture consistent with the club’s traditions of attacking football played by youthful, hard-working teams fusing homegrown talent with top-class recruits.

“We are getting closer to those objectives as the squad continues to develop following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani.

“Our ongoing investment reflects the tremendous resilience of the club and our commitment to supporting Ole, while remaining disciplined at an extremely challenging time.

“As always, our priority is to win trophies and, with the team going into the new year competing on four fronts, we are optimistic about the path ahead in 2021.”
Woodward acknowledged that, while football has been “a welcome distraction” over the past year, these “remain extremely challenging times for societies across the globe”. 

“Many of our fans have been personally affected by Covid-19 and we send our sincere condolences to everyone who has lost loved ones,” he said. “Many others are on the frontline of the pandemic, whether working in healthcare or keeping our communities going, and all of you have our deepest respect and gratitude. 

“We know that the social and economic fallout is severe and that’s why we have stepped up our own community response through the fantastic work of Manchester United Foundation. This includes the provision of 80,000 meals for vulnerable children during the Christmas holidays in partnership with FareShare Greater Manchester, complementing the wider campaign against child food poverty so inspirationally led by Marcus Rashford.

“Marcus’s efforts have demonstrated the power of football to be a force for good and we are tremendously proud of him.”
Woodward said that, while this remained a difficult winter in the short-term, the medium and longer-term outlook was getting brighter as vaccines arrive to fight the virus.

“One of the many benefits from this should be the gradual return of fans to football stadiums and we can’t wait for ours to be allowed back inside Old Trafford.”

Signing off his column, Woodward thanked fans for their loyal support throughout 2020 and offered best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.