Man Utd set to lose millions thanks to Champions League clause with sponsors

Manchester United’s finances will take a hit this season should they fail to qualify for the Champions League as they fail to hit certain requirements to claim bonus payments from sponsors

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MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester United v Atletico Madrid at the Old Trafford on March 15, 2022 in Manchester United Kingdom (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Manchester United are facing another big financial blow if they fail to clinch a top four place this season.

Principal partner Team Viewer, the German tech company, replaced Chevrolet a year ago as United’s front-of-shirt sponsor in a five deal believed to be worth around £235 million. But if United aren’t in the Champions League next season they won’t bank the performance-related bonuses built into the £47 million-a-season contract.

It’s the same story with kit supplier Adidas who have a Champions League clause in their agreement with United. United’s deal with Adidas broke all kit records in football when it was unveiled in July 2014.

The 10-year tie-up was worth a maximum £750million but to cash in on the maximum amount United had to be in Europe’s elite club competition each season. On the back of United cancelling their sponsorship deal with Russian state airline Aeroflot the club now face further financial set-backs after another season of under-achievement.

With the backlash over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, United had little option but to ditch their nine-year association with Aeroflot with their current deal due to expire next year. United are still attractive to sponsors with many companies wanting an association with Old Trafford to gain access to players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford through their deals.

The team’s failure to land big trophies in recent years so far hasn’t critically harmed sponsorship revenue streams at the club. But top officials at United’s Mayfair commercial offices know it’s vital to get back on track soon. Rival rival clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool have been far more successful on the pitch than United in recent times – and they’ve closed the gap significantly off the pitch in the last five years.

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Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is a big draw for sponsors but a lack of Champions League football will see the Red Devils feel the pinch


David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, United interim boss Ralf Rangnick claimed he is ready to brief whoever takes over in the Old Trafford hot seat – even if it does not prove to be Erik ten Hag. The 63-year-old German was named as United’s interim boss after the club sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but will step back from the dugout in the summer having already agreed to move into an advisory role with the Red Devils.

Rangnick said: “I have already done this, not to any managers, but inside the club. I have told them how I see the current squad and what needs to happen in my opinion. I spoke regularly with board members and they know what I think needs to happen in the summer. If he [the next manager] is interested and willing to speak about that and interested in my opinion I will see what happens.

“We have agreed upon a contract as an advisor. I know all of the managers with whom the club have so far spoken to are top managers and top coaches – if this includes Erik ten Hag, it is also true with him. I know which coaches they have spoken with so far and that’s why I can say that all of the coaches they have spoken to are top coaches.”

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