Belfast Telegraph

Red Devils and Arsenal face £50m Euro blow

By Matt Slater

Manchester United's failure to qualify for the Champions League will cost the club approximately £50m in lost revenue, football finance experts have said.

Arsenal face a similar fate if they fail to qualify for Europe's premier club competition for a third straight season but they at least still have a chance of doing so via the Europa League, as they take a 3-1 lead into the second leg of the semi-final in Valencia on Thursday.

Domestically, however, Arsenal and United are only fighting each other to avoid finishing sixth, a placing that could mean they have to ditch late-July plans for lucrative friendlies and play in the Europa League's second qualifying round instead.

That, however, is only a small part of the financial penalty they face for such lacklustre Premier League campaigns.

Dr Dan Plumley is a senior lecturer in sports business management at Sheffield Hallam University and he believes missing out on Champions League football will hurt both clubs.

"It's a ballpark figure because of the way Uefa distributes the money and that system is changing next season," said Plumley.

"But there is nothing to suggest the market pool for English clubs will deviate that much so we can be reasonably sure that failure to qualify will cost them in the region of £50m of broadcast and prize money."

Another risk for United is a potential 30 per cent reduction in income from their kit deal with Adidas, as the sportswear company is entitled to a discount if the Red Devils miss out on Champions League football for two consecutive seasons.

That would cost them an additional £25m in lost revenue for the club.

There is another major headache for both Arsenal and United to consider.

Dr Dan Parnell, a senior lecturer in sports business at the University of Liverpool, said: "The biggest clubs and best talent want to perform at the highest level.

"But failure to offer Champions League football to prospective playing talent will hinder the role of the future director of football."

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