UEFA are expected today to announce that Euro 2020 will be postponed until 2021, but what does this mean for Manchester United?
First and foremost, it is the clearest sign to date that every attempt will be made to complete this season rather than declare it null and void.
If it was declared null and void, United would be back in the Europa League when 2020/21 starts.
United are currently lying in fifth place in the Premier League which, due to Manchester City’s UEFA ban, means they would qualify for the Champions League next season. If the season were voided but City still banned next season, it would be Arsenal, not United, who took their place, as it was the Gunners who finished fifth last term.
Faiure to qualify for the Champions League will have massive ramifications for the Red Devils. It would see United lose around £75 million in revenues, which in turn would affect the transfer budget and it would also make it much harder to convince top transfer targets such as Jadon Sancho to join the club.
It is therefore extremely important for United that the Premier League season is allowed to be finished.
It is equally important that the Europa League can be completed as well and the postponement of the Euros should also make this much more realistic. The Red Devils are almost certainly through to the quarter finals after their 5-0 win in the first leg against LASK in Austria. Winning the competition would provide another route into next year’s Champions League and even reaching the final would provide a lot of extra revenue for the club.
Finishing the season could also be extremely important for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. If this season ended today, executive vice chairman Ed Woodward would have a difficult decision to make as to whether to stick with Solskjaer or to replace him with former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The ability to extend the season into June and July would give Solskjaer more opportunity to prove his worth, with a strong finish potentially securing his future at Manchester United.
If postponement of the Euros means that this season can be completed later, it also allows more time for United to get Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford back fit, which would be a tremendous boost when football resumes. It would also mean that the FA Cup could be completed, allowing the Reds to aim for a cup double.
For Manchester United, then, postponement of Euro 2020 is a great piece of news as long as it means that the current season can be completed. According to The Times, ‘Lars-Christer Olsson, president of the joint body of Europe’s leading clubs, insisted yesterday that leagues across the continent need to be finished’ and that ‘the postponement of Euro 2020 will encourage that possibility’.
The chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association Gordon Taylor was also quoted as saying ‘If the Euros is postponed it gives some flexibility … Definitely the aim should be to complete the season, otherwise it is unfair on those clubs who are close to promotion and to qualifying for Europe, not to mention winning the Premier League.’
It seems therefore that there is finally some good news to come for United today during this unprecedented world crisis.
United are through to the FA Cup quarter finals after their win at Derby. But how much do you know about the Red Devils’ history in the FA Cup? Take our quiz below to find out!