Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has warned British clubs they risk losing a Champions League place should their poor European form continue.
The Premier League is gifted four spots in Europe’s primary competition, the same number as Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga, on account of the strength of performances of the nation’s club sides over the five previous seasons.
However, following last season’s poor showing from English teams on the continent – no side reached the quarter-final stage – Woodward believes teams must be wary of slipping down the UEFA coefficient rankings.
“In simple terms, if all of our teams perform badly compared to Italian and German teams there is a risk. Those two countries are the key,” he said.
“If we did as badly as last year and Germany and Italy did as well then that fourth position would come under threat.”
United’s return to the Champions League, after missing out last season, alongside a world-record kit manufacturing deal with Adidas has enabled overall quarterly figures to September 30 to rise to £123.6million – a 39.3 percent increase.
The club is expected to post overall revenue figures of between £500m and £510m.
“Overall we have a good start to the season – we are well positioned in the Premier League and top of our group in the Champions League,” said Woodward.
“Our record first quarter revenues and EBITDA [used to analyse company profitability] demonstrate the continued strength of our businesses. We are delighted with the early progress made in licensing.”