Thursday 27 October 2016

Manchester United to reveal £35million cost of Champions League failure

Mark Ogden

Published 15/09/2015 | 14:10

Ed Woodward (right) and Louis van Gaal
Ed Woodward (right) and Louis van Gaal

Manchester United return to the Champions League tonight with the club due to reveal that last season’s absence from the competition cost up to £35million in lost revenue.

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United face PSV Eindhoven at the Philips Stadion in their Group B opener this evening aiming to secure a first Champions League away victory since a 5-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany in November 2013.

But with the club set to publish their annual accounts on Thursday, the full cost of missing out on the Champions League by finishing seventh in the Premier League in 2013-14 will become clear.

Having announced turnover of £433.2million in last year’s accounts, United issued an advisory notice when publishing their third quarter accounts in May that the final figure for the 2014-15 accounts are projected to be between £385m-395million.

And it is understood that the absence of Champions League prize money will ultimately amount to close to £40million.

With United not participating in the competition last season, however, the full financial blow will be softened by the lack of bonus payments paid to players in relation to Champions League progression, which are a key element of incentivised playing contracts at Old Trafford.

The significance of those bonuses was borne out in the third quarter accounts, which reflected a 6 per cent drop (£3.2million) in staff costs on the same period of the previous year, when David Moyes’s team progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals after overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Olympiakos on the round of 16.

Although expensive signings such as £59.7million British record buy Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, who earned £265,000-a-week during his season long loan from Monaco, were added to the Old Trafford wage bill during the last financial year, their salaries were mitigated by the departures of high earners such as Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic at the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

United are due to publish their accounts for the year ending May 31, 2015, at 1pm on Thursday.

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