Manchester United players are fighting Ajax for a place in the Champions League – and £38million in rewards.
Victory in Stockholm would ensure entry into Europe’s elite competition for the Red Devils next season – bringing about huge bonuses across the board.
As reported by the Times, nearly every player in Jose Mourinho’s squad would effectively receive a 25 per cent pay rise to the basic salary they recieved this season, when they weren’t in the Champions League.
The Old Trafford stars would also split a £1million bonus under the club’s performance incentive scheme.
As it stands, United’s players’ contracts assume they are ALWAYS in the Champions League, and all players who earn more than £20,000 a week lose 25 per cent of their pay should they fail to qualify.
On these terms, £28million worth of wages were cut last summer from 22 players’ contracts.
New signings Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly were all exempt from the clause as the club were not in Europe’s top tier when they joined.
But should Ajax triumph on May 24, the 25 per cent pay slash would apply to the four players, amounting to £9million.
Defenders Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanezbe both earn under £20k a week and are so exempt from the unusual clause.
Where Man United could miss out
- Club performance incentive bonus – £1m
- Wage cut of 25 per cent for players who earn more than £20k a week (excluding new signings) – £28m
- Wage cut of 25 per cent for new signings – £9m
United’s mega-money sponsorship deal with adidas would also be affected should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
A clause in the contract states that should the club fail to qualify for the competition for consecutive seasons, they lose 30 per cent of the annual £75million payment owed to them from the sportswear giants.
Marouane Fellaini scored against Celta Vigo last week to help see Mourinho’s side through to the final.