Man Utd: Finance expert claims Ten Hag sack ‘clause’ is ‘likely real reason’ for contract verdict

Lewis Oldham
Erik ten Hag and Sir Jim Ratcliffe with the Man Utd badge
Man Utd must have breached PSR last season according to a financial expert.

The ‘likely real reason’ for Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag penning a short-term contract extension has been suggested by a finance expert.

Man Utd had been expected to sack Ten Hag ahead of the 2024/25 campaign, but their win against arch-rivals Man City in the FA Cup contributed to their decision to keep the head coach.

Ten Hag were under pressure for much of the 2023/24 season as Man Utd finished eighth in the Premier League. Thomas Tuchel, Gareth Southgate and Roberto De Zerbi were among the managers mooted as potential replacements but the Dutchman recently penned a one-year contract extension.

After his new deal was announced, he said: “I am very pleased to have reached agreement with the club to continue working together.

“Looking back at the past two years, we can reflect with pride on two trophies and many examples of progression from where we were when I joined.

“However, we must also be clear that there is still lots of hard work ahead to reach the levels expected of Manchester United, which means challenging for English and European titles.

“In my discussions with the club, we have found complete unity in our vision for reaching those goals, and we are all strongly committed to making that journey together.”

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Finance expert Stefan Borson claimed the ‘real reason’ for Ten Hag penning a short-term extension is that ‘United have likely included a clause in his contract that means his compensation fee is fixed if he’s sacked at any point before his new deal expires’.

“I suspect the compensation if he was to be removed at some point is not going to make any difference,” Borson told Football Insider.

“I think it will probably be fixed on a certain amount, either with a liquidated damages clause, which actually specifies the terms, or maybe he’s capped on a one-year notice period.

“Something like that makes it irrelevant whether he’s got a one-year contract or a six-year contract because the amount of money he’s going to be paid out is not going to really flex depending on it.”

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He added: “Most clubs will not want the situation where the manager is going into the final year of his contract.

“City are the obvious exception to that rule. Usually it just doesn’t work in the dressing room, so clubs will optically put in this extension.

“City did it with Pellegrini many years ago even though I suspect they knew at that point Guardiola was coming in afterwards. It was just really to calm the situation down and take away all of the speculation.

“I wouldn’t look at the Ten Hag deal in terms of the numbers, I would look at it more in terms of the optics.”