Ed Woodward: Solskjaer has laid the platform

Manchester United's Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has laid an ideal platform to guarantee Manchester United long-term success.

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United are still in contention for Europa League and FA Cup glory, though they sit fifth in the Premier League - an eye-watering 38 points behind table-topping rivals Liverpool.

The big-money January arrival of Bruno Fernandes has increased optimism around the club and Woodward, whose house was attacked by some disgruntled fans last month, believes United are on the right track.

"We are pushing for a strong finish in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup as we enter the final third of the season," he said.

"We have continued to make progress on our squad rebuild, with many changes in terms of players that we have brought in and players that have come through our academy; the foundation for delivering the long-term success that we are all working towards is in place as we implement our plan and our footballing vision with Ole."

Woodward made his comments as United released their second quarter 2020 fiscal results.

The club reiterated their revenue guidance for the year of between £560million and £580million, while net debt is up 23.2 per cent to £391.3m.

The club say the increase of £73.6m over the year is "primarily due to an overall decrease in cash and cash equivalents" and that "the gross USD debt principal remains unchanged".

United recorded revenues of £168.4m in Q2 - down 19.3 per cent on the same period the previous year - and an operating profit of £36.5m, which is down 17 per cent due in no small part to the lack of Champions League football.

But commercial revenues are up seven per cent, including 11.9 per cent in sponsorship, following recent deals with Alibaba and Mondelez International.

United have handed new deals to highly-rated defender Ethan Laird and goalkeeper Paul Woolston.

Laird has been with the Reds since the age of 10 and made his first-team debut against Astana in the Europa League in November.

The 18-year-old's contract keeps him at United until 2023, with the option to extend by a further year, while goalkeeper Woolston has extended his time at the club until 2021.