Manchester United players face wage cut as Midtjylland loss dents Champions League qualification hopes

 
Joe Hall
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Over and out? United are on the cusp of an exit from the Europa League (Source: Getty)

Manchester United's squad could face a 25 per cent wage cut if they fail to turn around their stuttering form and qualify for the Champions League.

Louis Van Gaal's side crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Danish champions FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday night and are six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the Champions League.

According to the Mirror, club policy has dictated that the United players' contracts include a clause that triggers a cut in basic salary should they fail to qualify for Europe's elite competition.

Earlier this year United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told investors that staff costs could be expected to fall based on the club's European progress.

"There is a component of our players’ salary that is linked to the club participating in the Champions League and if we’re not competing in the Champions League that component will come off and it’s sufficiently meaningful," said Woodward.

Ahead of the defeat to Midtjylland, Van Gaal described winning the Europa League as United's best chance to qualify for next season's Champions League.

His struggling players have already missed out on Champions League bonuses written into their contracts that the club was expecting to pay out after exiting the competition at the group stage.

Failure to reach next season's Champions League would likely see United miss out on £30m in TV, matchday and prize money revenue, while it has been reported that the value of their £75m kit deal with Adidas will decrease should they spend two seasons or more outside the competition.

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