Ed Woodward defends Manchester United's transfer policy to investors
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 12/02/16 8:50am
Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was forced to defend the club's transfer policy to investors on Thursday, amid questions about Leicester's success.
After United announced record revenue in their quarterly report, Woodward hosted a conference call with the club's influential sponsors and was praised for steering the course towards annual earnings of half a billion pounds.
But with United fifth in the Premier League and out of the Champions League, Woodward was asked why Leicester have been able to storm towards the title on a modest budget while United struggle to find consistency after spending around £95m last summer.
And Woodward said: "Some players are bought by other clubs with an eye to them developing into something special in a few years' time.
There is a slightly different market in which people are buying. Leicester is a fantastic reference point for everybody this year.
"There's a bit more pressure on some of the other clubs to bring in players who are going to hit the ground running and be top players, verging on world-class almost immediately.
"So there is a slightly different market in which people are buying. Leicester is a fantastic reference point for everybody this year."
Woodward was also probed for his thoughts on the burgeoning muscle of the Chinese Super League, who have spent considerable amounts to attract an increasing number of stars to the Far East.
Liverpool lost out on Alex Teixeira earlier this month, who moved to Jiangsu Sunning to join Chelsea's Ramires, while Jackson Martinez - one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe last summer - moved to China from Atletico Madrid.
Woodward admitted it was a market they could not ignore and said: "I do think there will be more activity coming in the summer, but it is very difficult to predict what kind of impact that will have.
"If nothing else, it's another useful market if we are looking to sell players."