Liverpool could be hit by sponsorship penalties if they fail to secure Champions League qualification for next season. 

That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Liverpool’s quarter-final exit on Wednesday.

A 3-1 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid means Liverpool can now only qualify through finishing in the top four in the Premier League.

That is far from certain with Jurgen Klopp’s side currently in 6th place, three points behind West Ham in the last Champions League spot.

Sponsors might not look too kindly on Liverpool failing to ensure their brand is represented on the biggest stage in club football, claims Maguire.

“We’ve not seen anything explicit from the club,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

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“Liverpool still haven’t published their accounts from last season so trying to determine the nature of the relationship with their main sponsors is actually really difficult.

“We are aware that Adidas had a 25 per cent penalty with Man United if they failed to qualify for the Champions League for two years in a row.

“Given that Liverpool’s relationship with Nike involves a low fixed base and high commission, I don’t think the penalty would be significant. But they could still take a hit.

“With Standard Chartered, there could be a small one too. Having said that, I don’t think they’ll be hit too badly.”

Liverpool owner John Henry is one of the most avid proponents of mooted Champions League expansion.

A new 36-team tournament is expected to be rubber-stamped later this year, bringing with it engorged broadcast revenues.

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