Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United team-mates are set to be hit hard in their pockets due to the team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Some players will reportedly see their weekly salaries drop by up to 25 per cent next season after a deeply disappointing campaign at Old Trafford. Man United’s humbling 4-0 defeat to Brighton confirmed they are mathematically unable to qualify for Europe’s premier competition — and the cost is going to be felt by players such as Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar is the highest earner at Old Trafford and across the Premier League, taking home a reported wage packet of around £510,000-a-week. However, according to The Daily Mail, United included clauses in contracts whereby reductions of a quarter will be made to account for the drop in revenue in the budget for next season.
It could see Ronaldo’s wage drop to as low as £385,000-a-week if he were to have the clause included his contract. And that represents another significant drop on his earnings, as he already took a massive wage cut to seal his return to Old Trafford later, Other top earners at the club include David de Gea and Harry Maguire, who could see their salaries fall dramatically.
United will earn significantly smaller sum of prize money and broadcast revenue if they qualify for the Europa League in comparison to the Champions League. And the effects will be felt even more if they finish in seventh, thus qualifying to play in the Europa Conference League next season rather than the increasingly appealing Europa League.
Ralf Rangnick ’s players are paying the price for a poor second half of the season in which United have won just two out of their last eight Premier League matches. Despite several slip-ups from their top-four rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, the Red Devils have suffered a sharp decline in form, with a major overhaul expected this summer.
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It has been a season to forget for the Premier League’s most successful club. Their exit from the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid confirmed their wait for a trophy would be extended to five years. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also sacked in November, but things have not exactly improved under German tactician Rangnick, as reflected in the 4-0 mauling away to Liverpool last month.
Ronaldo may feel somewhat aggrieved that his wage packet is going to be decreased after bagging 24 goals in all competitions this season. His goal tally is more than what Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford have managed contributed between them, with the 37-year-old scoring several crucial goals across the campaign.
With Erik ten Hag taking charge from next season on a three-year deal, it will be down to the Dutchman to not only bring in new players to improve the quality of the squad but also extract the best performances from those at the club. And the Ajax coach will be relying on the fact that the incentive of financial gain will be enough to spark some of his underachieving players into life.