Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, is facing a grilling from the club's investors today (Wednesday) which could include uncomfort-able questions about David Moyes's future and the threat of missing out on the Champions League.
United face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tonight having fallen nine points adrift of a Champions League qualification position following the 2-2 draw with Fulham on Sunday.
But with the club, who are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, due to announce their second-quarter financial results this lunchtime, Woodward and Michael Bolingbroke, United's chief operating officer, are to hold a conference call with investors to discuss the team's results and outlook.
While the quarterly figures are expected to reveal a continuation of the club's commercial growth, the potential loss of Champions League earnings and a reduction in Premier League prize money this season could prompt investors to question the club's strategy.
United's share price in New York has dropped in recent weeks, coinciding with the team's five defeats in nine games and elimination from both domestic cup competitions.
While United's owners, the Glazer family, are understood to remain supportive of their manager, Moyes's -failure to keep the team competitive after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson last summer may also be raised in the conference call today.
In a terse pre-match press conference at United's Carrington -training ground yesterday, Moyes insisted that his players were capable of reviving their season with a positive result at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
United defeated Arsenal 1-0 at Old Trafford in November on the only occasion this season that Moyes has been able to field a full-strength team. He insisted that the team could reproduce that victory "because we have done it before". The Scot said: "It was a really good performance just before the international break and we went away in a really good period. Probably since that period we have been a bit rocky. After that win, we were getting into a stronger position but we just never picked up."
Despite United lying seventh and Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen criticising his tactics, Moyes insisted that his approach was right. "We will just keep doing the job because I know that we're doing the right job. We'll do the same things. We'll make sure things are right - prepare the players well and things will change."
United face Arsenal having gained 21 points fewer than at the same stage last season, which Moyes said was down to many factors. "There have been a lot of improvements from sides in the Premier League and obviously we've not done as well as last year. I think there are certain different reasons for it, I don't think there's any particular one. The change of -manager being one of them, but lots of other things as well."