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

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

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

Manchester United face another big financial blow if they fail to clinch a top four spot this season.

Lead partner Team Viewer, the German tech company, replaced Chevrolet a year ago as United’s front shirt sponsor in a five-way deal believed to be worth around £235million. But if United are not in the Champions League next season, they will not cash in on the performance-related bonuses built into the £47m-a-season contract.

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

The 10-year-old tie was worth a maximum of £750million, but to cash in the maximum amount United needed to take part in Europe’s elite club competition each season. Following United’s cancellation of its sponsorship deal with Russian airline Aeroflot, the club now face further financial setbacks after another season of underperformance.

With the backlash of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, United had no choice but to abandon their nine-year association with Aeroflot, with their current deal set 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 has so far not seriously harmed the club’s sponsorship revenue streams. But senior officials at United’s trade offices in Mayfair know that getting back on track quickly is vital. Rival rival clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool have had far more success on the pitch than United of late – and they’ve narrowed the gap on the pitch considerably over the past five years.

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Manchester United striker 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 caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick has claimed he is ready to brief whoever will take over in the Old Trafford hot seat – even if it doesn’t turn out to be Erik ten Hag. The 63-year-old German was appointed as interim United boss following the club’s sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but will step down from the dugout this summer having already agreed to play an advisory role to the Red Devils.

Rangnick said: “I’ve done it before, not to managers, but inside the club. I told them how I see the current team and what I think needs to happen. I’ve spoken regularly with the board members and they know what I think needs to happen this summer. If he [the next manager] is interested and willing to talk about it and interested in my opinion, I’ll see what happens.

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

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