Ed Woodward is confident Manchester United can navigate through what he predicts will be a ‘difficult next few months’ thanks to the club’s support.
United’s executive vice-chairman has already warned it will not be business as usual when the transfer window opens. On the pitch things are completely different, too, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men prepare for their first behind-closed-doors game at Old Trafford against Sheffield United on Wednesday night.
With home advantage all but gone and the players getting used to a new normal, as well as the financial implications Covid-19 is expected to have on every club up and down the country, Woodward is confident United will come out of the crisis in a strong position.
‘On the pitch, there is no escaping the reality that the coming months are going to be difficult for everyone in football and we are no exception,’ Woodward said in United Review.
‘However, our club’s foundations are solid and, provided we stick together and manage our resources carefully, we will come through this period with our strength intact – thanks in large part to the loyalty of our fantastic supporters.’
While supporters are not allowed in the stadium they will be represented by giant mosaics which will be wrapped around the Old Trafford seats. Pictures of 40,000 supporters from 193 countries will be used and Woodward used this as an example to reiterate the club’s commitment to diversity and their mission to support Kick it Out and Black Lives Matter.
‘As a club, we say “thank you” through the “United for the Heroes” banner displayed in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, as well as the NHS logo on the players’ shirts,’ Woodward said.
‘You will also see powerful anti-racism messages, on the players’ shirts and in the stands, and we are proud to be uniting with our players and the rest of the Premier League behind this crucial cause.
‘Diversity, inclusion and the fight against racism are at the core of our values as a club whose support spans racial and cultural boundaries. This has been a long-standing commitment from the club, as part of our All Red All Equal campaign and our support for groups such as Kick It Out.
‘The breadth and diversity of our fanbase is demonstrated by over 40,000 supporters from 193 countries who submitted their pictures for the spectacular fan mosaic, which will be on show in the stands for the first time tonight. We hope the mosaic will provide inspiration to the team as a reminder of the hundreds of millions cheering them on from home.
‘As a banner in the Stretford End tonight declares, quoting Sir Matt Busby, “Football is nothing without fans”, and we can’t wait for you to return to Old Trafford as soon as it is safe to do so.’
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