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Manchester United's failure could boost Premier League chances

United without Champions League football is almost unthinkable and Sir Alex Ferguson side, as they have done so many times before, did their talking on the pitch thrashing Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 yeaterday to put pressure back on their local rivals.

United's early Champions League exit could cost the club in the region of £20m, according to a leading football finance expert. The loss at Basel on Wednesday saw them fail to progress from the group stage for the first time since 2005-06 and drop into the Europa League.

"The cost is between £14m-£18m, just on the TV cash," Andy Green, who writes the blog andersred, told BBC Sport.

"And you can assume they'll lose a few million pounds on gate receipts."

United confirmed that season ticket-holders will still be obliged to buy tickets for the Europa League, although they could not confirm if prices would be reduced. Whether prices are reduced are not, United are likely to struggle to fill Old Trafford on Europa League nights.

The demands of the Europa League will help the Old Trafford outfit to challenge for the title again and with the top teams playing each other and the top four places for next season's Champion League places changing regularly this can only help attendances.

TD

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