The Premier League brand has been damaged by Manchester United's struggles this season, says Richard Scudamore.
League chief executive Scudamore suggests the global popularity of the Premier League will slump if David Moyes' side continue to toil.
Last season's English champions are seventh in the table - 18 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Scudamore was speaking in South Africa on a promotional tour to promote the world's richest league.
He conceded that viewers could switch off if United are not doing well.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Scudamore told Bloomberg. “When your most popular club isn’t doing as well, that costs you interest and audience in some places.”
“There’s lots of fans around the world who wish Manchester United were winning it again, but you have to balance that off against, generally, we’re in the business of putting on a competition and competition means people can compete.”
United are set to miss out on the Champions League next season unless they can overcome holders Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals and progress to win the tournament.
But there is widespread discontent around Old Trafford with plans to fly a plane over Old Trafford during United's match with Aston Villa on Saturday with the words plastered on a banner: 'Wrong One - Moyes Out'.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Richard Scudamore
- Premier League
- David Moyes