MANCHESTER UNITED are staring at a potential £50million financial black hole after their Champions League debacle.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side suffered humiliation as they lost to RB Leipzig to slip into the Europa League.
But with United’s finances already suffering as a result of the Covid crisis, the price of failure is even starker.
United have been heavily linked with several expensive stars including Jadon Sancho and Eduardo Camavinga which could all be affected by Tuesday night's departure.
Playing in front of an empty Old Trafford since March has cost United around £6m in revenue from each home game without fans, adding up to £78m so far.
But the United bean counters had anticipated a run into the knock-out stage at least.
And they will now be weighing up the huge repercussions on next summer’s potential transfer budget.
By failing to make the last 16, United have missed out on a potential £46m in extra Champions League earnings, in addition to the further £18m from three more possible home games in the competition.
In stark contrast, even if they go all the way to win the Europa League Final in Gdansk in May, United would only bank £12.55m in prize money, although they would have the possibility of an extra home match.
Winning just three of their group games, and losing the other three, gives United Champions League bonuses of £21.2m – the three defeats cost them a further £7.2m.
The Old Trafford side banked an initial £25.96m as their 'historical coefficient' plus £5.78m as England’s third-placed team from last season, for a total of £52.94m.
But United anticipated making the last eight, with £8.05m – the qualification bonus minus the £450,000 prize fund for the last 32 of the Europa League – out of the window as an immediate repercussion to the loss in Germany.
But the exit means United will now also take a smaller share of the £28.9m second half of the English 'market pool' TV payments, with each round progressed by Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City making Solskjaer’s team’s slice of the pie smaller.
It all adds up to a major financial blow in addition to the savage one to the club’s footballing stock.
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