Manchester United paid £19.6m in compensation to Jose Mourinho and his backroom staff when he was sacked in December, the club have revealed.
That sum, which is listed under “exceptional items” in United’s second-quarter financial results, includes pay-outs for the five members of Mourinho’s staff who left with him on December 18 after United recorded their worst start to a campaign in 28 years.
It is less than was reported in some quarters but four times the amount United had to pay predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal when they were fired in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Mourinho was subsequently replaced by caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has lost just one of his 12 games in charge in all competitions, helping the club climb back into the Premier League top four.
“The appointment of Ole and Mike (Phelan) as caretaker manager and assistant manager, working with Kieran, Michael and Emilio, has had a positive impact throughout the club,” executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement on Thursday.
“We are delighted with the improvement in the team’s performances since December and we look forward to a strong finish to the 18/19 season.”
Mourinho, who was contracted as United manager until 2020 before his sacking, saw his troubled season begin when he publicly criticised the club’s board for not backing him in the summer transfer market.
He had wanted at least one new centre-back but he did not get one, with the club signing £50m midfielder Fred, Porto youngster Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant as a backup goalkeeper.
Fractures in his relationship with Paul Pogba began to emerge in September and the France World Cup winner was stripped of the vice-captaincy before Sky Sports News filmed them having an animated disagreement on the training ground.
Mourinho left United having won a Europa League and EFL Cup double in 2016/17, winning 84 of his 144 matches in charge.
United reported record revenue for the second quarter of the financial year of £208.6m. The club is forecasting annual revenue to be between £615m and £630m.