Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United teammates will be hit hard in their pockets due to the team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Some players will reportedly see their weekly salaries drop as high as 25% next season after a deeply disappointing campaign at Old Trafford. Man United’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to Brighton confirmed they are mathematically unable to qualify for Europe’s main competition – and the cost will be felt by players like Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar is the highest-earning at Old Trafford and in the entire Premier League, taking home a salary package of around £ 510,000 a week. However, according to the Daily Mail, United have included clauses in their contracts under which one-quarter cuts will be made to account for the decline in revenue in the budget for next season.
He could see Ronaldo’s salary drop to as low as £ 385,000 a week if the clause included his contract. And that represents another significant drop in his earnings, as he’s already undergone a massive pay cut to seal his return to Old Trafford later on. Other top earnings from the club include David de Gea and Harry Maguire, who could see their salaries drop dramatically.
United will earn significantly less prize pool and broadcast revenue if they qualify for the Europa League than the Champions League. And the effects will be felt even more if they finish in seventh place, thus qualifying to play in the Europa Conference League next season rather than the increasingly captivating Europa League.
Ralf Rangnick’s players are paying the price for a poor second half of the season in which United have only won two of their last eight Premier League games. Despite several mistakes by their top four rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, the Red Devils have suffered a steep drop in form, with a major overhaul scheduled for this summer.
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It has been a season to forget for the Premier League’s most successful club. Their exit from the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid confirmed that the wait for a trophy would be extended to five years. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also sacked in November, but things have not exactly improved under German Rangnick tactic, as evidenced by a 4-0 win at Liverpool last month.
Ronaldo may feel somewhat saddened that his salary package will be reduced after conceding 24 goals in all competitions this season. His goal tally is more than what Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford contributed to each other, with the 37-year-old scoring several crucial goals throughout the campaign.
With Erik ten Hag in charge from next season with a three-year contract, it will be up to the Dutchman not only to bring in new players to improve the quality of the squad, but also to extract the best performances from those of the club. And the Ajax manager will be confident that the financial gain incentive will be enough to give birth to some of his underperforming players.