Manchester United set for £17.4million blow in Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first summer

Sir Jim Ratcliffe will have to wait to fulfil his dream of winning the Champions LeagueSir Jim Ratcliffe will have to wait to fulfil his dream of winning the Champions League
Sir Jim Ratcliffe will have to wait to fulfil his dream of winning the Champions League
It is now near impossible for Man Utd to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Manchester United's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are all but over after Man City and Arsenal exited the competition on Wednesday night.

Erik ten Hag's side can only have themselves to blame after a disappointing campaign that has seen them drop down to seventh in the Premier League. United were never likely to finish as high as fourth in the English top-flight, but retained a faint glimmer of hope in the knowledge that a fifth-place finish might also have been enough to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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As of October, England had an 82.4% chance of earning an additional place in next year's reformed competition, with a bonus place awarded to the two nations with the best coefficient ranking.

However, it now stands at just 6.2% after a terrible campaign for English sides in Europe. Germany have overtaken them in recent weeks and are certain to finish ahead due to having two clubs in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

It means a top-four finish in the Premier League is set to be the only way for a side to qualify for the Champions League next season. A place is also awarded to the side which wins the Europa League, but it seems unlikely either Liverpool or West Ham will do so after first leg defeats.

Qualifying for the 2024/2025 Champions League will earn each team at a minimum of £17.4 million, with United's impending failure to qualify a huge blow for Sir Jim Ratcliffe during his first summer in charge of the club.

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United's only chance of qualifying would be if they managed to overcome both Aston Villa and Tottenham in the hunt for fourth-place. Ten Hag's side are currently seventh in the Premier League, 13 points behind Villa with just six games left to play, though Unai Emery's side have played a game more. Villa just need seven points from their remaining five matches to guarantee they finish above United, though given their far superior goal difference, two wins would most likely be enough.

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