………If They Miss Out On The Champions League For A Second Year Running
Manchester United will miss out on a huge £25million sum from kit sponsors, Adidas, if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
United have a mega-money £75m-a-year deal with the sportswear brand – second only in the Premier League to Liverpool’s £80m contract with Nike, but, there is a clause which is likely to be worrying the club’s hierarchy.
If United fail to qualify for Europe’s premier competition for a second straight season, Adidas will not have to pay £25m of the £75m next season, taking the deal down to just £50m – a sum well below the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
United were in pole position to take third place in the table on Monday night, but, a last-gasp equaliser from Southampton dropped them instantly from that projected position to fifth – a place that currently means Europa League for next season.
Until this week, fifth place would have guaranteed United a spot in next season’s Champions League, but, after Manchester City won their appeal against a two-year European ban that all changed.
Now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, who are 18 matches unbeaten in all competitions, will need to leapfrog Leicester if they are to secure a spot – and that extra 33 per cent of investment.
As it stands, United are level on points with Leicester with a three-goal deficit on goal difference, and one point behind third-placed Chelsea.
In their final three matches, the Red Devils face Crystal Palace away, West Ham at home – and then Leicester away in a mouthwatering clash on the final day of the season.
In the Premier League, Liverpool have the biggest sponsorship deal having signed an £80m-a-season contract with Nike back in January.
Until that point, United’s £75m-a-season adidas deal was the biggest in British football history.
Both figures are dwarfed by Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the two Spanish clubs far and away the most well-paid in European football. The former takes in £110m a season, while the latter earns £100m.
In the Premier League, Manchester City earn £65m a season with Puma, Arsenal £60m with adidas and Chelsea rake in £60m with Nike. Tottenham, meanwhile, have a £30m-a-year deal with Nike.