One of the major beneficiaries of the upcoming season’s new Champions League financial scheme might be Manchester United.
When the expanded 36-team tournament is introduced in a year, there will be significant changes to Europe’s top club competition, including a shift in the way money is allocated.
The group stage structure itself will be abandoned as part of the new “Swiss-model,” with a single league of 36 clubs being the preferred alternative.
The competition requires clubs to play at least four more games per season. Instead of having home and away games like they do now, clubs will face 10 different teams, five of which will travel to their stadiums.
United may even gain from the new qualification standards, which provide two spaces to the two clubs with the greatest club coefficients that did not initially qualify for the competition, after a dismal start to the new Premier League season.
Because of their prior success in Europe, United would have a solid chance of qualifying for the competition even if they finish outside the top four this upcoming season.
Due to the competition’s new funding, which would increase each team’s earnings from £16.3 million this season to £28.9 million for making it to the final event, doing so would be quite profitable for the club.
Even in the worst-case scenario, if United ultimately ends up missing the tournament, they might still profit from higher solidarity payments to teams not participating in European championships, which will grow from 4% to 7pc in the 2024–27 cycle.
Even though United is one of the teams that appears to stand to gain the most from the new format, their prior success in Europe won’t always provide them with a safety net.
Additionally, Uefa is altering the coefficient funding mechanism, which decides how much clubs are paid based on their prior European performances.
These statistics are currently based on the last ten years, during which United has qualified for the Champions League seven times; however, starting in 2019, they will instead be based on the previous five seasons.
Consequently, a few seasons without Champions League play could have a significant impact on their future profits and steadily reduce their co-efficent, eliminating any historical safety net that is currently shielding them.
United could make significant gains, but if they are careless, they could also make substantial losses.