Manchester United’s Europa League final match against Ajax in Stockholm next week is worth a combined £60.5 million to the club and its players.
A report in The Times indicates that United’s playing staff could bank “the biggest players’ bonus pool in history” if they’re successful at the match on Wednesday May 24.
This is because the Europa League winners automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League, a competition that activates an Old Trafford pay policy that sees the majority of United’s players net a 25% wage increase (a combined £38 million).
United players would also split a £1 million bonus under a performance-led incentive.
Currently, players contracted to United are subject to an assumption that the club always participates in the Champions League. Failure to reach the competition results in a 25% pay reduction.
As the club missed out on the competition last year, an approximate £28 million worth of wages were trimmed from 22 playing contracts last summer, though new signings like Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were exempt.
Should Ajax trump United and lift the Europa League trophy, Pogba and Ibrahimovic would be subject to the wage cut. The players, though, will likely be contemplating victory alone, rather than failure.
The club also stands to miss out if it does not return from Wales with the title next week.
This is because key sponsor Adidas has a stipulation in its contract with United that would result in a 30% cut (£22.5 million) from their £75 million annual deal, if “United fail to qualify for the Champions League in consecutive seasons.“
Failure, clearly, comes at a cost — and in this case, that cost is £60.5 million.
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