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Manchester United tell investors they will qualify for Champions League this season

Mark Critchley
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Getty Images

Manchester United have told investors that they do not expect to miss out on the Champions League for a second consecutive season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently fifth in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-place Chelsea after back-to-back league wins.

A fifth-place Premier League finish may be enough for a Champions League spot if Manchester City’s two-year ban from Uefa competitions is upheld.

United can also progress to the last-16 of the Europa League on Thursday night, with a place in the Champions League on offer to the tournament winners.

The club released their latest financial results earlier this week and expressed confidence to investors that they would return to Europe’s top club competition.

In a filing to US Securities and Exchange Commission, United said they do not anticipate another year outside of the Champions League and the financial costs that would incur.

“Revenue is currently being recognised based on management’s estimate as at 31 December 2019 that the full minimum guarantee amount is the most likely amount that will be received, as management does not expect two consecutive seasons of non-participation in the Champions League,” it read.

United failed to qualify for this season’s Champions League after a sixth-place league finish last year. Former manager Jose Mourinho was dismissed midway through the campaign.

The club expects revenues to fall by as much as £67m this year, to somewhere between £560m and £580m, largely because of the lack of elite-level European competition

A second consecutive year would damage United’s finances further and see a 30 per cent reduction in the £75m-per-year deal with kit manufacturer Adidas.

United were four points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea at the end of December, when the report to the SEC was compiled, and are now a point closer to Frank Lampard’s side.

Solskjaer’s hopes of qualifying have since been boosted by the prospect of the fifth-place in the Premier League being awarded City’s Champions League spot.

City, who were found guilty of breaching Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations earlier this month, are set to appeal against their two-year ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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