Manchester United players set for wage cut if club misses Champions League qualification
Manchester United have endured a miserable season so far, with the nadir of the Red Devil’s poor run coming in their 2-1 loss away to Danish champions FC Midtjylland. Despite an away goal, The Europa League represented United’s best chance of making it to the Champions League next season, and with the Red Devils set to miss out on the competition, it follows that the players are staring a wage cut in the face.
According to a report in the Mirror, the Old Trafford players face a staggering wage cut of 25% were they to miss out on the Champions League. The policy came into effect in 2011 under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill. Clauses were interjected into contracts since that time and have now become standard across the board.
The clauses involve bonuses for the Red Devils if they qualify for the Champions League, but at the same time have the 25% penalty as a standard clause for missing out on the lucrative Champions League. A club insider said, “The club felt it was right players should be rewarded for reaching the top four but also share the financial repercussions if the team miss out.”
United set to miss out on Champions League windfall
Manchester United are currently fifth in the table, six points of Manchester City in fourth. With the form of the four teams above them showing no sign of abating, United’s chances of making the top four seem increasingly slim, with Louis van Gaal admitting as much in a post-match interview.
As such United's Europa League run seemed their best shot at a Champions League place, with the winners getting an automatic spot in the Champions League group stages. The 2-1 loss to FC Midtjylland puts United’s Europa Leagues hopes in jeopardy, away goal notwithstanding, which might see their last hopes of witnessing the Champions League anthem at Old Trafford next season get extinguished.
The financial windfall for just appearing in the group stages of the Champions League is set to increase by £10 million, with the winners earning £42 million, up from £30 million this season.
If United have to settle for the Europa League next season, the Red Devils will earn a paltry £1 million for appearing in the group stages, which will justify their decision to penalize their players financially for the failure to qualify for the Champions League spot.