Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United to confirm Louis van Gaal as manager

By Ian Herbert

Manchester United were last night wrapping up the fine details of Louis van Gaal's appointment as manager, ahead of a public grilling by New York Stock Exchange analysts today at which chief executive Ed Woodward will be asked to explain how he will deliver the club's recovery.

Ahead of a managerial appointment which may come today, Ryan Giggs' meeting with Van Gaal took place at the five-star Hotel Orangerie in the Dutchman's home town of Noordwijk, on the North Sea coast.

Giggs' own future role at the club – as the probable No 2 to Van Gaal – was one of the topics for discussion.

But Van Gaal is also understood to have wanted to talk about some of the players who will be arriving and leaving United this summer.

When joining a new club, he has always viewed an insider's opinion as critical on which young players offer best potential for development.

Woodward's appearance before business analysts has created an urgency about the first face-to-face talks between Van Gaal and Giggs – who flew in by private jet and was chauffeur-driven to the hotel.

The chief executive will be questioned publicly on his search for a successor to David Moyes when he appears for a conference call coinciding with United's third-quarter financial results.

The 20 minutes of questions, which start at 1pm, are likely to see the chief executive underline the club's ambition to respond immediately after a disastrous season in which they have fallen out of Europe.

The analysts' briefing can take place at a time and date of United's choosing and will have been a landmark in the front of minds at the club.

United need to resurrect their share price, and their on-field fortunes.

The three months which today's results relate to actually saw United progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, boosting their revenues, though they expect the focus of the conversation to be on the future.

Meanwhile, Cardiff earned more from finishing bottom of the Barclays Premier League this season than Manchester United earned as champions the previous campaign, it has been announced.

The league's new £5.5billion broadcast deal meant Cardiff received £62.08million in finishing 20th this term, compared to United's £60.8m for winning the 2012/13 title.

Manchester City, who succeeded United as champions on Sunday with a second title in three years, earned £96.5m, with second-placed Liverpool the top earners with £97.5m as a consequence of more of their games being screened on live TV by broadcasters.

City's windfall was almost £36m more than United's last term.

Manuel Pellegrini's men did not top the league, though, as they appeared in 25 games broadcast in the UK by either Sky Sports or BT Sport, compared to Liverpool's 28.

Third-placed Chelsea, United and Arsenal also appeared in 25 live televised games and Cardiff were one of eight teams to appear in 10 live matches.

The Welshmen, who returned to the Championship after one season in the top-flight, received over £22m more than QPR did in finishing last in the 2012/13 season.

The season was arguably the most exciting in recent memory, with the lead changing hands 25 times and 1,052 goals scored alongside a record stadium occupancy of 95.9 per cent.

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