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Feb 13, 2014

Top-four failure could cost United £70m

Failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League could cost Manchester United in excess of 40 million pounds and potentially as much as 70 million pounds.

• Delaney: Stagnation at the Emirates
• Payne: United, Arsenal share restorative draw

The Premier League champions announced record revenues for the second quarter of the 2013-14 financial year when they delivered their financial results on Wednesday but their 0-0 draw at Arsenal, coupled with Liverpool’s 3-2 victory over Fulham, left them 11 points adrift of fourth place.

And while United project their income will rise from 363.2 million pounds to somewhere between 420 and 430 million pounds in the current financial year, it could drop significantly if they do not play in Europe next season.

United banked 35.55 million euros -- around 30 million pounds -- in broadcast rights and prize money from UEFA for reaching the last 16 of the 2012-13 Champions League.

In addition, they had four home games in the competition and matchday revenue at Old Trafford averages out at over three million pounds per game, taking their total proceeds from participating in the competition above 42 million pounds.

While they may end up in the Europa League, which would offer the opportunity for more home games, it is probable ticket prices would have to be reduced and the broadcast rights are far less lucrative, resulting in lesser prize money.

Tottenham, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2012-13 Europa League, received only 5.4 million euros in prize money.

As it stands, United, who are seventh in the Premier League, are on course to miss out on European football altogether unless Manchester City win the Capital One Cup and both FA Cup finalists have already qualified for continental competition.

That means, if United were to end the season in seventh, the FA Cup final would have been contested by two of City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton.

If Sunderland were to win the Capital One Cup and someone other than those five clubs were to reach the FA Cup final, United would have to finish fifth to ensure they play in the Europa League.

Winning the Champions League, or reaching the final, as United have done in three of the last six seasons, can be worth as much as 70 million pounds.

Champions Bayern Munich received 55 million euros from UEFA in broadcast rights and prize money from UEFA last season while United banked 53 million euros in 2010-11, when they were runners-up.

In addition, they also had six home games at Old Trafford, taking their total proceeds from the competition towards the 70 million-pound mark.

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