Manchester United could be facing a £70 million financial black hole if they fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. United will face Leicester City in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in third place in the league needing just a point to secure a place in the top four this season. A victory would see United finish third, no matter the result between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers, taking the pressure off a little.
If Chelsea lose to Wolves, which would be fantastic to seem being that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are also seeking to qualify for the UEFA Europa League next season, a competition that they are still in this season, which will not make Frank Lampard’s last game this season an easy one, they could miss out on £50 million in lost revenue because of that. That would be just brilliant though. However, if United lost to the Foxes, which they have not done since September 2014, they would be out of the top four.
Champions League football would bring in around £80 million in revenue for United, which is a lot more than the £30 million on offer if they reach the group stages of the UEFA Europa League instead, something that Solskjaer does not want to see happen. The Sun has reported that United would also lose £20 million in revenue from kit provider, adidas with their annual £75 million in revenue being reduced if the club missed out on Champions League football for two consecutive seasons
The coronavirus pandemic will be a big financial hit for United and every other Premier League club with The Sun reported that a £330 million rebate will be shared between all clubs, meaning further losses for United and the 19 other teams from the league this season. Then you have the matchday revenue from the clubs with many of the smaller clubs in the league relying on that to get them through the season. It was reported that United have lost £20 million just for the four matches played behind closed doors at Old Trafford after the restart.
United have taken out a £140 million loan from the Bank of America to help them through the pandemic and earning Champions League football next season would help make the clubs finances look better then they could have looked if they only reach the Europa League. Of course, they do still have a chance to reach the Champions League through the Europa League this season, but that is not as good a chance that they have right now so should take it if they can. United will need to avoid defeat to get what they needs next season, winning would be much better.
The summer transfer window is expected to be a big one for United as Solskjaer will be seeking to continue his rebuild of the club with five signings wanted, if what was reported on Thursday night was true. United needed nine new singings to challenge for the Premier League title, according to Mike Phelan, Solskjaer’s assistant manager. They signed four players between last summer and the end of the January transfer window, needing five more. Of course, there will be some exits too with up to six players that could be shown the door this summer. This is what progress looks like, for me at least.
Written by John Walker