• Champions League

United facing £70m fallout for top-four failure

ESPN staff
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Manchester United are facing a financial fallout for failing to finish in the Premier League's top four of up to £70 million.

The champions could only draw 0-0 at Arsenal on Wednesday and, after Liverpool's 3-2 victory against Fulham, they are points adrift of fourth place.

United would become the first team to bridge such a gap in Premier League historyand manager David Moyes is defiantly backing them to do so.

The club claim their income will rise from £363 million to somewhere between £420 and £430 million in the current financial year, but the cost of the team's stumbling form could inflict a big blow on their commercial prospects farther down the line.

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David Moyes has endured a nightmare first season at Old Trafford © Getty Images
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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.

Missing out on Europe's elite club contest could see United having to battle it out with lesser lights in the gruelling Europa League, a competition many other clubs in the Premier League privately admit they would rather avoid.

In financial terms, the second tier competition would offer the opportunity for more home games but it is probable ticket prices would have to be reduced and the broadcast rights are far less lucrative, resulting in lower prize money.

Tottenham, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2012-13 Europa League, received only £4m in prize money.

Yet even if playing in the Europa League is seen as some sort of consolation, as things stand United, who are seventh in the Premier League, are on course to miss out on that too.

They could spend a season without European football altogether unless Manchester City win the League Cup and both FA Cup finalists have already qualified for continental competition, which is by no means gauranteed.

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.

United banked £42m from the 2010-11 Champions League, in which they finished runners-up to Barcelona © Getty Images
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Champions Bayern Munich received £45 million from UEFA in broadcast rights and prize money from UEFA last season while United banked £42 million 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 mark.

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