Cristiano Ronaldo among Manchester United stars facing a pay cut after failing to qualify for the Champions League
According to the Express, Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo, among other first-team players, are set to face massive pay cuts in their wages as the club failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season.
The club has endured a dismal campaign thus far in the Premier League, failing to put together a convincing winning run and proving to be inconsistent in their form. They will also see yet another season end without winning any silverware, extending their trophy drought to five years.
The Manchester side currently sits in the sixth position, on course to qualify for the UEFA Europa League next term. However, they face competition from West Ham United, who could yet pip the Red Devils to the spot and relegate them to playing in the Europa Conference League next season.
Due to their failure to qualify for the UCL, the first-team players at United are set to see their wages reduced and take a significant hit on their finances. The general practice at Old Trafford is that the club structure the employment contracts they offer their players in such a way that it reflects the revenue earned from playing in Europe.
Lowest contract since Real Madrid in 2009
What generally happens is that the English giants reimburse the money to their stars they earn from participating in continental competitions such as the Champions League. However, with the Red Devils now set for Europa League football next season, it could result in player wage cuts of up to 25 percent.
It will come as hardly any surprise that Ronaldo is the top earner in the club, earning a basic salary of £385,000-a-week. Having missed out on UCL football, the 37-year-old could only stand to make £288,000-a-week next season. This decrease of £97,000 per week would see him pocket his lowest contract since his early days at Real Madrid in 2009.
With a lack of Champions League football and a lower wage structure next season, there still arises a possibility that the Portugal captain departs United in search of a new destination. He has also failed to lift a trophy this term with the Red Devils – something that is rare in the club career of the forward.
Amongst the other bad news that the club has faced this term, one positive next season is that the wage bill will be reduced. Aside from Ronaldo, stars like David de Gea are also set to take a pay cut. The Spaniard is the side’s second-highest earner after the Portugal skipper and will earn around £281,000-a-week.
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Despite only re-signing with the Manchester side last summer for a second spell at Old Trafford, the next game against Crystal Palace could perhaps be the last time we see Ronaldo put on the famous red jersey for the club. However, the arrival of Erik ten Hag at the end of the season could yet change the situation.
The Dutchman is expected to make widespread changes in the squad in the summer and work towards getting United competing for trophies once again. If ten Hag sees Ronaldo as a crucial part of his plans next season, we may see another full year of the Portuguese star in action.