Woodward confident of United’s resilience

“We also continue to invest strongly in our thriving Academy, whose graduates make up a third of our current first-team squad. The pipeline of new talent looks as exciting as ever, with Ole giving first team debuts to eight Academy graduates last season – the highest number since the Busby Babes were breaking through in 1952/53. This faith in youth remains an integral part of our identity as a club. Even with the addition of some more experienced players this month, our squad remains one of the youngest in the Premier League with an average age of 25. This means the team has potential for significant further improvement as our young players develop and mature.”

Woodward said he was also “tremendously excited by the progress being made by our Women’s team under Casey Stoney following the arrival of several new players this summer, including Tobin Heath and Christen Press, both two-time World Cup winners with the US national team.”

Commenting on recent discussions about the financial challenges facing many English clubs, particularly smaller ones, Woodward said Manchester United had been “playing an active role in those discussions because we strongly believe in supporting the English football pyramid, both in the short term, to address the issues created by COVID-19, and in the long term to improve financial sustainability at all levels of the game.

“There will always be intense debate around any changes to the structure of football, just as there was before the formation of the Premier League 28 years ago. Now, at this critical juncture for the game, we must ensure that the huge success of the Premier League is reinforced while ensuring that the wider football pyramid continues to thrive in a rapidly changing media environment.

“Achieving this will require strategic vision and leadership. We are pleased that the Premier League has committed to work together on a plan for the future structures and financing of English football. Now it must deliver on that promise, and we are committed to playing a leading role in pushing that process towards a successful outcome.”

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