After David Moyes' dismal reign as manager at Old Trafford last term the club find themselves without European football for the first time since 1995, and a prospectus released by the club highlights the dangers of failing to re-establish themselves in the top four at the first time of asking.
The document also revealed that the highly-publicised 10-year kit deal with adidas is dependent on results and will drop 30 per cent from £75million to £52.5m if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League in two consecutive seasons.
The news comes as the Glazer family, who own the club, are set to draw out £89m by reducing their shareholding in the club to 85%.
The prospectus says: 'Because of the prestige associated with participating in the European competitions, particularly the Champions League, failure to qualify for any European competition, particularly for consecutive seasons, would negatively affect our ability to attract and retain talented players and coaching staff, as well as supporters, sponsors and other commercial partners.
'Failure to participate in the Champions League for two or more consecutive seasons would also reduce annual payments under the recently announced agreement with adidas by 30 per cent of the applicable payment for the year in which the second or other consecutive season of non-participation falls.'
United's combined broadcasting and matchday revenue from Europe has fallen in the last three years from £59.7m in 2011 to £38.9m in 2013.
@jimbobbarker (Torquay United)> If we do go into the season with only those three, then off course the defense is week. However even Van Gaal has mentioned that they are shopping for defenders, so expect 1 or 2 new defensive signing.- Synergy
@fresh (Liverpool)> Ferdinand was past his best and was poor last year, Evra has been defensively poor for 3 seasons now and only Vidic was decent last season and even he seemed to have lost quite a bit of the little pace he once had. I fully expect a defensive signing or two. Also the fact that Pool managed to finish with Skertl, Agger, Toure and a pretend footballer in Sakho as their defense gives me additional confidence.
Lastly we don't have to make up 15 points to Arsenal. We just have to finish ahead of a sans Chewy Suarez, free falling Pool, which I think we will manage.