Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says speculation about transfers for hundreds of millions of pounds at the end of the season is ignoring the realities that face the sport because of the coronavirus pandemic.
United were linked with a £200m move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and potentially spending a further £130m on England and Borussia Dortmund wide-man Jadon Sancho.
“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer,” Woodward said in his opening address to a United Fans’ Forum.
“As ever our priority is the success of the team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.”
Woodward has been a key figure in many of the discussions among the Premier League and in Europe about how the game is going to deal with the financial impact of coronavirus.
Billions of pounds in TV income is at stake if there is no resumption in the foreseeable future, with most figures within the game anticipating any resumption, when it eventually comes, will be without spectators.
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