Man Utd: Ronaldo and De Gea 'face wage cut' as club miss out on Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo following Man Utd's FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough

Following their 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Brighton on Saturday evening, Manchester United can no longer qualify for next season’s Champions League – and their absence is set to hit the club very hard financially.

Europe’s premier club competition offered maximum prize money of £71.66 million this season. By contrast, the Europa League, in which United will compete if they remain sixth in the Premier League, boasted a pot of just £16.22m.

As illustrated above, failure to secure Champions League football means a considerable shortfall in potential revenue for the Red Devils.

The club will seemingly be able to soften that financial blow, however, through, wage reduction clauses believed to be included in the contracts of many players at Old Trafford.

Per a report from the Daily Mail, club chiefs will now have the ability to slash the salaries of a number of stars by up to 25% next season, as a result of Ralf Rangnick’s side finishing outside of the top four in the Premier League in 2021/22.

Which Man Utd players will be affected by the wage cuts?

In their article, the Daily Mail name Cristiano Ronaldo and David de Gea – the club’s two highest earners – as players who could see their earnings plummet as a result of these clauses.

Shot-stopper De Gea is said to be earning £375,000-a-week at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’. That figure is set to fall to around £281,000-a-week should the full 25% reduction be applied.

Should five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo remain at Old Trafford next season, he will be hit in the pocket to an even greater extent.

Cristiano Ronaldo following Man Utd's FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United looks dejected during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on February 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

According to the Daily Mail’s calculations, the 37-year-old superstar is in line to see his pay diminish from £385,000-a-week to approximately £288,000-a-week.

Should those figures be accurate, it would mark the first time that Ronaldo has earned less than £300,000 in a seven-day period since he signed a £365,000-a-week deal at Real Madrid in November 2016.

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Others within the United fold are likely to suffer reductions, providing they are still playing for the club at the start of next season.

Cristiano Ronaldo protests after Man Utd are eliminated from the Champions League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United complains to Referee Slavko Vincic during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Manchester United and Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford on March 15, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The likes of Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard are each already set to depart the 13-time Premier League champions this summer.

Further player exits are inevitable once new boss Erik Ten Hag arrives from Ajax in a few weeks, too, as the Dutchman looks to rejuvenate the flagging Manchester club.

In the wake of their collapse at the Amex Stadium this weekend, United are already guaranteed to finish with their lowest points total of the Premier League era – and have also conceded more goals (56 to date) than they have in any other Premier League season.

Given how poor United have been this season, fans could be forgiven for arguing that a 25% reduction in the wages of some players simply isn’t enough.

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Man Utd embarrassed by Brighton (Reaction via The Football Terrace)

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