Man Utd face imminent financial catastrophe

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 2 Dec 2023 07:57 CST
  • 3 min read
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, money
© ProShots

Manchester United’s January transfer window has been put in the balance by the club’s dreadful performance in the Champions League, which could see the Red Devils miss out on millions they expected to win via prize money.

The consequences of elimination from Europe’s top-tier competition promise to be significant, with even Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s imminent minority takeover unable to undo the damage that is set to be caused.

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Man Utd are staring a possible European exit square in the face. Should they fail to beat Bayern Munich at home, they stand the chance of being knocked out of continental football before Christmas in what would be a huge embarrassment.

But it would also be a financial catastrophe for the club ahead of the January transfer window, during which they will have to consider Financial Fair Play issues.

The Athletic explains that Man Utd will miss out on around €10 million just for failing to qualify for the last-16 stage, plus the possibility of sizeable prize payments for progressing deeper in the competition.

Give they need to beat Bayern Munich at home and hope the fixture between Copenhagen and Galatasaray ends in a draw, they are a long shot to go through.

Man Utd have won only one Champions League match this season
© ProShots - Man Utd have won only one Champions League match this season

Why missing out of Champions League qualification will be devastating for Man Utd

For a club with the financial power of the Red Devils, this may seem like a trifling sum, but it harms Man Utd’s ability to comply with the Premier League’s profit and sustainability test.

This states that clubs are allowed to lose a maximum of £105m over a three-year cycle, but only if up to £90m is covered by the owners. If not, the limit is £15m over this time.

United are in danger of failing this. The Athletic points out that they lost £150m during the 2021/22 season and £33m in 2022/23. Therefore, they need to come out of this season almost £80m in profit to pass the Premier League’s test.

Even dropping to the Europa League would be little consolation for the Old Trafford club, with the winners of that competition only earning around €10m, although it would guarantee a Champions League spot next term.

It is pointed out that Man Utd can, therefore, expect a transfer window similar to last January, when the club signed Wout Weghorst and Marcel Sabitzer on loan, especially if they crash out of the Champions League, as looks likely.

Read more about: Premier League, Man Utd

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