Manchester United are making moves towards organising lucrative friendlies in order to cover for lost Champions League revenue, according to United’s managing director Richard Arnold.
United are expected to lose out on over £40m as a consequence of no Champions League football and with only three midweek games left this season after the Capital One Cup exit, friendlies abroad are being considered to bring in extra revenue.
Louis van Gaal was extremely vocal in his dissatisfaction at United’s commercial commitments on the pre-season US tour but Arnold is confident the Dutchman would approve of a move to arrange friendlies.
“We have a fantastic partnership in terms of our work off the pitch and I’m very appreciative of the support we have had from him,” Arnold said of his relationship with Van Gaal.
“For many years of our [pre-season] international tours, there is a plan to ensure we get that team building that goes together with getting the team all together in one place.
“That’s something that’s being looked at.”
Van Gaal didn’t hold back in his negative assessment United had to do on the pre-season tour and how it affected his ability to train the squad, so it would be a surprise if he agreed these friendlies are a good idea.
Ed Woodward insisted on more than one occasion that United could cope financially without Champions League football for one season, which makes the murmurs of these friendlies all the stranger.
This season needs to be about re-gaining a Champions League spot and taking part in continental friendlies could well be an unwanted distraction from Van Gaal’s point of view.