Manchester United held Arsenal to a point at the Emirates Stadium, but Steven Gerrard’s late goal for Liverpool means David Moyes’ side are now 11 points off the Champions League places.
Barring a triumph in this season’s competition, the question now remains if the club can survive for a season without Champions League, or whether it may be the start of a Liverpool 1990s-esque decline.
They looked a side drained by the mental and psychological strain of what has been a nightmare of a season.
With Nemanja Vidic leaving in the summer, the rebuilding work urgently required at the end of the season could be hampered by shortcomings in the remainder of this one.
Arturo Vidal, Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus have all been linked with David Moyes’ side, but luring them could prove difficult if European nights at Old Trafford seize to exist for the foreseeable future.
The modern-day footballer seeks to play at the highest level. History, tradition and values are all secondary factors compared to that of European football and silverware opportunities.
They can still offer blockbuster wages, but with superpowers around the globe prepared to do the same, top targets may opt elsewhere.
Similarly, it could see United’s best players, barring Juan Mata, seek a move elsewhere.
Wayne Rooney has yet to sign a new contract to fend off interest from Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, whilst Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on rumours of a shock move to re-sign Robin van Persie. Patrice Evra and Nani are expected to depart when the transfer window reopens on July 1.
Even Adnan Januzaj, who signed a new contract with the Red Devils earlier in the season, was a reported target for French giants PSG last month.
The signing of Mata was expected to rejuvenate the side, but they have won just once from his first four appearances.
Economically, United may feel the pinch.
Though shirt sales and revenue from matchday’s will generate millions of pounds, the money that comes from the Premier League and Uefa will be sorely missed.
With the club owners, the Glazer family, already riddled by debts it could mean money needed for new players be spent on covering other aspects of club life.
United, like Liverpool previously, must now look to life without the Champions League in it.
Moyes must only hope he have it in him to make its absence short and sweet.
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