Manager Arsene Wenger has led the club into Europe’s lucrative club competition every season he has been in charge.
But Arsenal are suffering their worst ever campaign under the Frenchman, are in danger of missing out on a trophy for the eighth straight year – and may yet struggle to qualify for Champions League football next year.
Now the club’s big backers, who have negotiated an extension on their contract to cover the five seasons from 2014-15, have disclosed they are taking precautions in case the club’s Champions League revenue and exposure suddenly dry up.
Emirates senior vice-president Boutros Boutros confirmed that the Dubai-based airline, which puts its name to both the stadium and Arsenal’s shirts, are planning to impose results-based precautions as part of any new deal.
‘There are certain clauses, from 2015, that we pay them a percentage less if they don’t perform,’ said Boutros.
‘The Champions League is part of the new contract. It’s just to keep them on their toes.
‘It’s fair to us and fair to them.’
Boutros insisted that Arsenal remained ‘an incredibly strong brand, well managed, with a great coach’.