Manchester United could lose up to £70 million if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, a huge financial blow for David Moyes and the club's investors.
As reported by ESPN, the Red Devils are likely to suffer a major depletion of funds if Europe's elite competition isn't reached:
United banked around £30m 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 more than £3 million per game, taking their total proceeds from participating in the competition to more than £42 million. ...
...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.
ESPN's article also claims United made £70 million on their run to the final in 2010-11. With the club currently 11 points off fourth place in the Premier League and showing few signs of toppling a rampant Liverpool side ahead of them, Moyes' future plans could be severely hampered with the lack of broadcast and prize money.
Ed Woodward, United's chief executive, recently suggested the club can cope with a lack of Champions League football.
"We have the ability to buy players, to churn players, to make sure we are competing at the top level, which is what we should be doing," said Woodward, as reported by Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.
Will Manchester United qualify for next season's Champions League?
Woodward also noted the club's global fanbase won't disappear "for a long time" and highlighted how teams such as Manchester City—who have only won the Premier League once—continue to build their brand without too many trophies in the cabinet.
Jack De Menezes of The Independent reports record second-quarter revenue of £122.9 million, despite the team's lowly league position.
United haven't won in three Premier League games and look set to miss out on Champions League football by quite some distance.
Such a deal shows the Red Devils hierarchy are itching to bring in world-class players, and most importantly, they have the means to do so. Mata committed to the club in full knowledge that he is unlikely to play Champions League football next year in a project that is looking toward the future.
One way United could make up the financial loss is by securing a mega sponsorship deal with the likes of Nike, Adidas or Puma. As reported by Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, this could be worth upwards of £70 million from 2015-16, perhaps softening the blow of this season's failure in the long run.
As tweeted by OptaJoe, United's current position has never resulted in Champions League qualification:
11 - No team has ever been 11 points off 4th place & finished in the top 4 since 4th place qualified for the Champions League. Adrift.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2014
Whether United manage the unthinkable or not, Moyes' team, tactics and points haul need to improve massively next season.
Both the manager and fans are perhaps looking to the summer already, as with 12 Premier League games left, United need a miracle if the Champions League theme is to ring around Old Trafford next season.