Manchester United would have to shell out so much in bonuses that a Premier League title would barely increase their bank balance.
That is according to accountancy specialist and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to correspondent Adam Williams after Liverpool slipped up against Southampton, meaning United could go top with a win in their next league match.
United are without a league title win in seven seasons, by far their longest barren stretch in the Premier League era.
But while fans may be pining for silverware, Maguire is convinced that winning the Premier League would not be as big a commercial achievement as it would a footballing one.
“Top four is all that matters,” he told Football Insider.
“If we take a look at Liverpool, they didn’t win the first division for 30 years but their commercial deal remained pretty damn good. They were able to leverage on the legacy of previously being a dominant club.
“So I don’t think United would be hit if they’re not winning trophies so long as they’re finishing at the top four. Even playing in the Europa League, there’s a chance of winning that and getting into the Champions League.
“Winning the Premier League is beneficial because it improves your UEFA coefficient. Trying to work out how much each club gets in terms of prize money is based on very complex algorithms.
“So yes it’s beneficial to win, but by the time you’ve paid out the player and manager bonuses, you only get an extra £2million for winning the Premier League compared to finishing second.”
Ed Woodward maintains that United’s on-pitch performance “doesn’t really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business.”
However, he will be concerned by United the fact they lost £70million of revenue over the last financial year and overall turnover is down by £118.1m.