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Manchester United’s finances aided by Champions League qualification

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Photo by Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images

Manchester United’s third-place finished has given a boost to the club’s finances, which would have been hit by contract clauses from sponsors and reduced revenue.

The blow would have been doubly painful during the coronavirus pandemic which has seen them draw down more than £100 million from their credit revolver in order to navigate the forthcoming economic uncertainty.

However, by qualifying for the Champions League next season they will avoid a £25 million penalty in the revenue due to them from their kit sponsor, Adidas.

United may have been exposed to similar cuts in other sponsorship deals but the details of those arrangements are not known.

There are other financial benefits, with the Premier League paying out prize money that increases with each place higher the club goes in the table at the end of the season. The club started Sunday in fourth place but managed to leapfrog Chelsea with a 2-0 win away to Leicester City.

Qualifying for the Champions League will also allow the club to earn a greater level of prize money from UEFA by taking part in their premier competition as opposed to the Europa League, and at a time when ticket revenue might not return to previous levels for a couple of years, every area that offers financial support is vital.

The success also means that United can focus on improving their side in the transfer window. Jadon Sancho is still expected to join from Borussia Dortmund, though there will be negotiations over the German club’s £100 million asking price. A central midfielder, central defender and a left-back are all areas that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might try to strengthen.

Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez, Marcos Rojo and others could all leave the club this summer as they attempt to raise funds and cull deadwood from the squad.