COVID-19 crisis may disrupt Man Utd transfer plans, says Solskjaer

United withdrew its annual financial targets in May after losing about 23 million pounds ($28 million) in quarterly revenue due to the season being temporarily suspended.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer   -  Getty Images

Manchester United has likely taken a bigger financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic than its rivals and it is unclear what funds will be available to sign players in the next transfer window, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

United withdrew its annual financial targets in May after losing about 23 million pounds ($28 million) in quarterly revenue due to the season being temporarily suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Premier League restarted this month but fans have been barred from attending games, and Solskjaer said United, which also has 429 million pounds in debt, would adopt a cautious approach to spending.

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“We'll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we've been hit,” Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday's FA Cup quarterfinal match at Norwich City.

“It's not for me to say we are going to have X amount because I don't really know. We are a financially strong club, but we are also probably being hit more than anybody else.”

United is fifth in the Premier League, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with seven games left to play.

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With second-placed Manchester City facing a European ban for breaching UEFA financial rules, fifth place should guarantee qualification for the lucrative Champions League, unless City wins an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City will discover the fate of its appeal next month, while United could also qualify for Europe's elite club competition by winning the Europa League this season.

“Let's see how quickly we can get our fans back into the stadium,” Solskjaer added.

“There's still a lot of uncertainty and these three or four months, every businessman in the world, every footballer in the world, I think everyone is still unsure what the effect will be.”

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