Manchester United reveal failure under David Moyes cost club £50m

Failure to qualify for the Champions League will mean a dip of around £35m in revenue for next year

Ian Herbert
Friday 16 May 2014 11:08 BST

Manchester United have revealed that the full cost of the brief David Moyes term was £50million, as they prepare to hand Louis van Gaal a three-year deal to resurrect the team.

Van Gaal will not be appointed before next week and Ryan Giggs was still considering his own future 36 hours after his meeting with the Dutchman. But the urgency of Van Gaal's task became clear as chief executive Ed Woodward disclosed to New York Stock Exchange investment analysts that United's failure to qualify for the Champions League would mean a dip of around £35m in revenue for next year.

That substantial income drop includes a 15 per cent reduction in the price of executive facilities because of United's failure to offer any kind of European football. The club's Premier League income will also drop off substantially next season after the exceptional income of the 2012/13 title-winning year meant that the club reaped 50 percent of the Champions League TV money pool available to English sides.

The cost of firing Moyes will be in "single digit million pounds" the analysts were also told, while attempts to equip him with a squad to manage the transition season has meant a rise in wages of between 15 and 20 per cent for 2014, compared with 2013. The wages had risen because of the renegotiated contracts of players such as Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj, while next year the wage figure will further increase, as United give Van Gaal as much as £150m to rebuild the side.

The financial cost of United falling from title winners to seventh was £8.4m – a dip from £97.5m to £89.1m – while the money paid out in total to Moyes was £7m, including his £3.5m basic salary. The sum total is just short of £50m.

United's delay in announcing Van Gaal as manager is a result of their attempt to tie up the last details and avoid an announcement which will distract from his Netherlands team's first World Cup warm-up match, against Ecuador in Amsterdam on Saturday.

But the need for a rapid appointment is becoming increasingly clear, with United keen to do some of the transfer business before the tournament gets under way and also to conclude the £27m transfer of Southampton's Luke Shaw.

Luke Shaw is among Manchester United's targets this summer (PA)

Woodward only briefly mentioned Moyes in the course of a 20-minute webcast with analysts, during which he insisted that the club would be back in the top four at the end of next season.

"We are now focused on appointing a new manager who will help Manchester United return to the top of English football and challenging in Europe, we expect to make an announcement in due course," he said. "In the meantime we continue to be active in the transfer market.

The [transfer] window is upon us and deals are being done but not 'done' in the past tense. There's nothing announced. We haven't committed funds yet. You will just have to wait and see as we go through the window.

"Clearly we are [expecting to be back in Europe next season]. The club's expectations – and you will see this reflected in the transfer market and what we've recently done from a managerial perspective – our aim absolutely is to get back into the Champions League. [The £30m drop] is off a high base this year. Because we won the league in 2012/13 that triggers a much higher percentage of broadcast money that comes to us from our participation in the Champions League this year. It's a relatively high number this year. It's a one off."

The chief executive declared United's support for the Financial Fair Play which is destined to see Manchester City imminently hit by fines and squad restrictions. "On recent news that indicated Uefa is taking a strong line on clubs that breach FFP rules – we continue to support FFP and believe it will help control transfer fees and wage inflation," he said. "We also believe the quality of the club academy will be a key differentiator as FFP starts to take effect."

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