Erik ten Hag has a very good chance of staying at Manchester United if he is able to release FFP pressure through qualifying for the Champions League next season, says Gary Neville.
Champions League qualification has become an absolute must for Ten Hag, and many, just like Gary Neville, believe it may be the only chance Ten Hag has to save his job.
“The change around has coincided with Jim Ratcliffe’s announcement, and the club needed something,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast. “It needed a change up top, but the big question at the end of the season will be if the manager and the players remain – they will be the test.
“Those decisions won’t be determined yet, and they will be ones that will be looked at, and Erik ten Hag had a good first season – if he can get them in the Champions League this season, he has a very good chance of retaining his position next season.”
He continued: “There is no doubt there is a microscope on every single person in the club, on and off the pitch. Jim Ratcliffe and his team are going to be going in there, and I am not saying notepads as they are walking around, but they are going to be looking at every single facet of that club, particularly the football and performance side and working out what August will look like.”
United didn’t sign any first-team players in the recent January transfer window but did sign off on a series of loan deals, with the club struggling to gather finances due to tightened profit and sustainability (sometimes referred to as financial fair play/FFP) rules.
Neville detailed that Ten Hag getting the club to qualify for the Champions League next season would give him a huge boost financially, as well as being the path to securing him his job.
“For Manchester United, who are dealing with FFP as a lot of clubs are, we’ve seen in the January transfer window it’s gone dormant, but Champions League is the difference between an extra £50m in your bank and that’s huge when it comes to the transfer window,” Neville explained.
“It’s enormous for these players at Manchester United, the coaching staff, the staff here and people off the pitch ends well. The microscope is on every single player, every single staff member, and they are all going to want to deliver under pressure, and they are stepping up a little bit. They’re in with a shout of finishing the season well, but they are going to have to finish the season well, and I think they are going to have to finish above Aston Villa.”
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