- The Manchester United coach highlighted the importance of qualifying for Europe
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Erik ten Hag has warned that missing out on Champions League qualification will severely impact Manchester United’s ability to spend on new signings in the summer.
The Dutchman guided the Red Devils to Europe’s top competition last season during his first year at the club, but was unable to prevent United from being embarrassingly eliminated in the group stage this season.
A difficult first half of the current campaign has left United nine points adrift of the top four, and a trip to Villa Park on Sunday will give them the chance to close the gap on the teams at the top.
Finishing fifth in the Premier League could also be enough to qualify for the Champions League due to the new rules, but it depends on the circumstances.
However, Ten Hag has explained that if United fail to qualify for next season’s edition of the competition, they will have less “financial power” to bring in new players.
Erik ten Hag has warned that missing out on Champions League qualification will severely impact Manchester United’s ability to spend on new recruits.
United were embarrassingly knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage this season
United will miss out on more than £100m extra on offer if they fail to qualify for the Champions League
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The 13-time Premier League champions are already trying to balance Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and failed to bring in reinforcements in January despite Ten Hag suffering several injuries this season.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash against Aston Villa, Ten Hag said: “It’s very important to play in the Champions League, that’s clear.”
‘We don’t even have to discuss this. What exactly is the impact right now? I don’t know.
“You have more financial power when you achieve the Champions League and that is our goal, absolutely.”
United were eliminated from this season’s competition after losing to Bayern Munich in their final group stage match.
Ten Hag highlighted the financial importance of qualifying for the top European competition
Missing out on qualifying for the competition which United have won three times in their history would see them miss out on a bonus of more than £100m offered to competing teams.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s multi-million pound investment in the club is likely to replenish some of the recruitment fund, but the new cash must comply with the FFP guidelines that United and other Premier League teams are bound by.
Ten Hag also needs to prove he is the best candidate for the job at Old Trafford with Ratcliffe and his INEOS team taking over sporting control of the club from the Glazers.
A second consecutive finish within the Champions League places would show that improvements are being made on the pitch despite the problems raised this season.