May 19, 2024

Erik ten Hag call, £14m blow – What failure to qualify for Champions League means for Man United

Manchester United are set to miss out on qualification for the Champions League next season and the failure will have knock-on implications

Manchester United are almost certainly set to miss out on a place in the Champions League next season.

Dropped points in the last two matches against Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth have pushed the Champions League spots out of realistic reach for Erik ten Hag’s men. With six matches remaining, the Reds are 13 points behind the guaranteed qualification position of fourth and 10 points behind the potential Champions League place of fifth

United must now concentrate on qualifying for Europe altogether but the knock-on effects of missing out on the elite European competition are only just beginning. MEN Sport takes a look at what this all means for United below.

Finishing between 4th and 7th in the Premier League sees little difference in terms of prize money. If United were to have snatched that guaranteed Champions League spot, they would have received based on last season’s figures – £37.4m.

However, finishing 6th would still bag £33m and 7th receives £30.8m. But the real financial blow comes in the difference between reaching the Champions League and not.

This season, United received a cool £13.37m automatically for just reaching the group stages. This is significantly more than the £3.17m they would have received for reaching the group stages of the Europa League and £2.5m for getting to the Europa Conference League group stages.

A £14m hit does not take into account winning matches in the Champions League either. A group stage victory earns you £2.39m compared to just £550K in the Europa League and £427K in the Europa Conference League.

Which Premier League places guarantee European football?

With the top five looking out of reach, finishing sixth should be United’s aim now. What this will grant the Reds depends on how many Champions League spots England has at the end of the season based on their coefficient ranking.

If the Premier League has the traditional four spots, sixth will guarantee the Europa League if the FA Cup winners have already secured European football through their league position. If they have not, this will become a Europa Conference League playoff spot.

Should the Premier League have five Champions League spots, sixth is guaranteed Europa League football no matter what. If United finish seventh in this scenario they could also gain Europa League football so long as the FA Cup winners have already qualified for Europe through their league position.

8th could be enough for the Europa Conference League playoffs so long as 7th does not become the Europa Conference League spot or the Carabao Cup winners do not qualify for Europe through their league position. This latter scenario is unlikely considering Liverpool won the Carabao Cup and are destined to qualify for the Champions League.

What will this mean for Ten Hag?

To suggest the Dutchman’s position at United is precarious would be an understatement. MEN Sport understands Sir Jim Ratcliffe was willing to be patient if United won the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League.

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