Manchester United’s pay-off for David Moyes will be “single-digit millions” it has emerged, as club chiefs promised major investments on transfers to ensure a return to the Champions League.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward also said an announcement on a new manager would be made “in due course”. It is understood the expected appointment of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal will not take place before next week.
Woodward said in a conference call to club investors that the cost to United of not playing in the Champions League next season would be “in the mid- 30 millions” and that there was a determination to return to Europe’s top club competition. Woodward said finishing seventh in the Premier League had been “very disappointing” and suggested missing out on Europe had led to the sacking of Moyes last month.
He said: “The club’s expectations – and you will see this reflected in the transfer market and what we have recently done from a managerial perspective – are absolutely to get back into the Champions League. We will be active in the transfer market and deals will be done.”
In relation to the pay-off to Moyes and his backroom staff, who also left the club, investors were told the figure would be revealed in September and it was expected “to be single-digit million pounds”.
Woodward said record revenues for the third quarter of the financial year put United in a good position to invest in the squad for next season.
United reported revenues of £115.5m for the quarter, up 26 per cent, mainly due to rises in income from Premier League broadcasting money and sponsorship deals.
“We once again generated record revenue,” added Woodward. “This puts us in a healthy financial position to continue to invest in the squad. Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season.”
The player wage bill was also up, however, by 18.9 per cent, reflecting the arrivals of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini plus new deals for Nani and Adnan Januzaj.
Wayne Rooney also signed a new deal during the current financial year but it is understood that is for the same level as his earlier contract – around £230,000 a week – but he earns more from a separate image rights contract which is not reflected in United’s staff costs.
Sponsorship income rose 43.5 per cent while United’s overall debt is down 4.3 per cent at £351.7m. The cost of servicing that debt also fell – there was a £2.8m reduction in interest payable following refinancing in June last year.
Broadcasting revenue for the third quarter was £35.6m, an increase of £13.9m or 64.1 per cent, due to increased revenue from the Premier League.
Woodward said that increase would soften the financial impact of missing out on Europe. He said: “Due to relatively high broadcasting revenues we estimate that the isolated impact for not qualifying for European football will be in the mid-30 millions of pounds, which includes a 15 per cent reduction in the price of executive facilities next year.”
The club and 62-year-old Van Gaal, currently coach of Holland, are understood to have reached a broad agreement but no deal has yet been signed.
Van Gaal is busy with preparations for Holland’s friendly against Ecuador in Amsterdam tomorrow, and sources close to the club have ruled out any announcement taking place either side of that fixture.
United’s interim manager Ryan Giggs was photographed leaving a hotel in the Dutch town of Noordwijk on Wednesday, where it is understood he had a meeting with Van Gaal.
The 40-year-old’s playing contract expires in June and he is expected to be offered a senior coaching role. It is not known whether he intends to play on.