Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows the longer Manchester United are out of the Champions League the more they will “suffer”.
The Red Devils are preparing to take on Club Brugge in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday night, having missed out on a ticket to European football’s top table by slumping home sixth in the Premier League last season.
Failing to make it into the Champions League again will make it even harder for United to attract elite-level reinforcements this summer, while the financial impact is already being felt.
United recorded revenues of £627.1 million last year but the second-quarter results showed they are expecting it to drop to make between £560million and £580million in 2020.
“We’re a big club, we’ve got good finances,” Solskjaer said.
“But of course the longer you’re out the more you suffer, so of course it’s an ambition for us to get back into the Champions League, both for the footballing reasons and financially that will help the club.
“We’ve just got to focus on the next game, this competition now, then it’s the league on Sunday, then it’s the FA Cup on Thursday, then it’s the league again and hopefully more European games.”
Bruno Fernandes’ arrival has certainly increased their chances of success, with the big-money January arrival from Sporting Lisbon hitting the ground running at Old Trafford.
“We feel we’ve added some X Factor quality with Bruno, definitely,” he said.
“The addition of Bruno gives us that little bit of a different flavour.
“He’s a player who likes to play penetrative passes, forward passes, likes to take risks, which a Man United player should do.
“His imagination or his overview and his picture is a couple of seconds ahead of many players and that’s one of strengths, knowing what he wants to do next time he gets it.
“But he can also change his mind in a split-second, so if that picture doesn’t work he’ll change it and that composure has been important.”