Man Utd executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has offered a candid response when asked about how the coronavirus crisis could impact the club’s transfer plans.
Football has been suspended since last month in England as the outbreak continued to worsen with 19,506 lives being lost during the pandemic.
It remains unclear when the lockdown measures will be eased in the country, and in turn when sporting events will be given the green light to resume, most likely behind closed doors initially to avoid the risk of a second wave of the outbreak.
While public and staff safety is undoubtedly the main priority for all concerned, there is also the financial aspect to consider for football clubs as revenues are down and so that could have a direct impact on the level of spending this summer.
Woodward has conceded as much while speaking to a Man Utd fans forum on Friday, as he admitted that it may not be possible to do business as usual given the circumstances.
“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,” Woodward said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“As ever our priority is the success of 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.”
The report goes on to note that the Man Utd chief backed the idea of completing the season and playing games behind closed doors to do so, but it remains to be seen what the governing bodies decide as the current lockdown is in place until mid-May with a further review expected.
As for the financial aspect though, it’s difficult to pick faults in his answer as ultimately there is a great deal of economic uncertainty across the board given how the pandemic has ground the world to a halt, and so it is arguably almost inevitable that it will negatively impact the ability of clubs to spend this summer, particularly in terms of significant fees for individuals.