Manchester United will continue to bank a world record £53m from their shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet next season, despite the increasing likelihood that the club will not compete in the 2014-15 Champions League, WRITES MARK OGDEN.
With Liverpool's 3-2 victory at Fulham coinciding with United's goalless draw at Arsenal on Wednesday, David Moyes' team arrived in Dubai on a mid-season training break yesterday 11 points adrift of the Merseysiders in the race for fourth place.
Senior figures at Old Trafford now concede that Moyes' team face a tough battle to overhaul Liverpool over the final 12 games of the Premier League season in order to secure the final Champions League qualification position.
But despite speculation that such a failure to qualify for Europe's premier competition would trigger a reduction in earnings from commercial deals, it is understood that the Chevrolet agreement will be unaffected by on-field performances.
American car manufacturer Chevrolet announced its seven-year partnership with United, replacing the £20m-a-year four-year tie-up with Aon, in July 2012.
But with United facing up to missing out on Champions League participation for the first time in 19 years, the club's agreement with Chevrolet will be unaffected due to the absence of performance-related clauses in the contract.
Despite the logistical difficulties posed by competing in the Europa League, such as Thursday games and a greater number of fixtures, United regard the tournament as one they wish to be in if they miss out on the Champions League.
And with the winners of next season's Europa League being handed qualification for the following campaign's Champions League, Moyes and his squad have already been made aware of the importance of claiming a place in the competition.
Meanwhile, United summer target Toni Kroos has been warned to consider his options before leaving Bayern Munich for Old Trafford. Kroos (left) has yet to commit to a new contract with the European champions and Moyes has made the Germany midfielder a priority target. However, Bayern captain Philippe Lahm has claimed that Kroos would be taking a big step if he chose to leave the Allianz Arena.
"It is, in my eyes, an absolute privilege to play here because the team simply has the mentality to win," said Lahm.
"Many players want to come to Bavaria. So you have to think carefully about whether you leave a club like this at the moment."