The news

David Moyes has been sacked as Manchester United's manager less than a year into his six-year contract. Reports suggested that Moyes would receive compensation of one year's salary (£4.5 million), under an "ejector seat" clause triggered by United's failure to qualify for the European Champions League for the first time in 19 years.

The issue

"Ejector seat" clauses could become more attractive in the wider business world, as opposition to rewards for failure gathers pace. Careful drafting is needed, because a contract term requiring payment of a fixed amount on a breach of contract may be unenforceable as a penalty if the amount is not a genuine pre-estimate of the loss that will be suffered.