Manchester United and Jose Mourinho have never been fond of the Europa League. The latter has especially termed this competition as a ‘big disappointment’ in the past. Yet, the 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final could possibly be one of the most important results in the history of Manchester United. It is also an extremely important result for Mourinho’s career.
Manchester United are the biggest name in English football, and one of the biggest in the world. Yet, the giant has been going through a struggling period since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Even after more than £400 million in transfer fees and three managers, the club had been struggling to return to the glory days. Now, the Europa league victory gives access to the riches of the Champions League and restores the brand value of the club in a big way.
United are still some way away from winning the Champions League, but a return to the competition is a huge positive. Sports wagering websites like CrownBet presently rank United at 16/1 for winning the Champions League 2017-18.
Adidas may have agreed a whopping £750 million shirt sponsorship deal with the club, but the German sportswear giant were about to cut the sponsorship fee by as much as £23 million per year if United had failed to make it to the Champions League next season. After a disappointing season in which we finished outside the top five, victory in the Europa League was the only way of getting into the Europe’s top competition. Besides, the competition itself will provide around £30 million just for appearing in the group stages and higher figures can be attained by progressing into the latter stages.
It is not surprising that United are being linked with as much as £300 million worth of new talent, as the club prepares to go on a spending spree in the summer. Yet, it would have been so much different without the Champions League. Of course, it may seem insignificant compared with the prestige and history of United but a growing number of players seek to play in this competition above all else. A great example would be Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, who rated his chances of joining United as a 6/10 before the final. Now, it is expected that the transfer will go through with the striker joining for a fee of £85 million.
In Jose Mourinho, United may have one of the best managers in the world and may also possess a huge amount of history, but Champions League remains a key factor in being able to get some of the best players on board. After having secured qualification to this competition for only the second time since the exit of Ferguson, United will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.