Manchester United will be forced to dispense with a fee in the region of £24m should they wish to sack under-fire boss Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese tactician has been under pressure at Old Trafford ever since the fractured pre-season that preceded his third season with the Red Devils.
Ignominious defeats to Brighton and Tottenham at the beginning of the campaign heightened the furore surrounding Mourinho, and two subsequent 3-1 defeats to rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have escalated this feeling.
The latter and more recent clash was particularly stark, with United coming second best to the Reds in practically every statistical measure, and their play was insipid throughout. This led to plenty of calls for the sacking of their manager, but, as reported by Duncan Castles of the Daily Record, doing so would come at a hefty cost.
Though it is worth noting that the aforementioned £24m fee would be reduced by 25% should the team fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, they still face a minimum compensation package of £18m.
Live reactions from the Champions League Last 16 draw...— 90min (@90min_Football) December 17, 2018
This equates to a year's worth of salary on the contract extension that Mourinho signed just 11 months ago, which is set to expire at the end of the 2019/20 season, and retains an option for another year after that.
The club will be liable to pay that Champions League stipulation until the club are out of the competition and also mathematically unable to compete for next year's iteration.
Coupled with the embarrassment and the loss of local bragging rights, Sunday's defeat also earned United the unwanted gap of 19 points between themselves and their opponents, and more pressingly, an 11 point deficit to fourth placed Chelsea in the Premier League.
It was announced during Monday's Champions League draw that United will play Paris Saint-Germain in the European competition's Last 16, with the first leg scheduled at Old Trafford for February 12th.