Sports finance expert: no Champions League could leave Manchester United with 'serious problem'

Manchester United 3

David Bick was talking to Sky Sports News, saying that failure to qualify for the Champions League again could be costly for the club.

Sport's finance expert David Bick has said that Manchester United could have a serious problem if they don't qualify for next season's Champions League.

Manchester United posted profits of £23.8 million and record annual revenue £433.2 million for the financial year 2013/14.

In the recent transfer window, Manchester United were the highest spenders in the Premier League and have signed players on big wages including Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao and for now should fall inside the Financial Fair Play rules.

Bick told Sky Sports News: "The really big issue for them now is not qualifying for next season's Champions League.

"If they don't then qualify for next season's Champions League I think they then have quite a serious problem."

Bick says he would think that a lot of their big sponsorship deals, like their huge record deal with Adidas would have some dependency on them qualifying for the Champions League 

On what could happen if the side were to miss out on Europe's top level competition for a second season, Bick said:

"This is a little bit of crystal ball gazing but I would think then you'd find some of the sponsors getting cold feet, or at least not having to make the payments that are dependant on Champions League participation. I wouldn't be surprised then to see the business making losses, and make it more difficult for them to do what they've recently done in the transfer market, because they're then coming off a lower revenue base on which to fit inside the Financial Fair Play rules." 

Overall, in the current situation, Bick says the figures are quite positive:

"Generally speaking they're a good set of figures and I think it's fair to say that the old chestnut of the debt is less of an issue than it was. They've got the debt down and I would say in pure balance sheet terms, it's now manageable."

The Champions League boosts the revenue of a lot of clubs in many ways, and the riches of the competition are likely to be even greater next season with the introduction of a new television deal. United's transfer business shows a clear sign of a club that is determined to return to the competition after a season's absence.

United are expecting less money to come into the club for the season ahead, therefore less money to spend in the next window from their turnover - meaning that lavish spending like the window that has just gone by may not be repeated to the same extent.

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