Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan has told IBTimes UK that Champions League qualification is not essential for Liverpool to compete with Europe's elite.

For the first time in five seasons Liverpool have reaped the financial benefits of being in the Champions League, and with the club out of the Premier League title race a top four finish is the priority for manager Brendan Rodgers this term.

Victory over Southampton saw Rodgers' side go within two points of the converted Champions League places. However Hogan says there is no undue pressure on the Northern Irishman to deliver top-tier European football.

"[The importance of the Champions League] doesn't necessarily apply to every partnership we have but it is clearly where we want to be," he told IBTimes UK.

When asked whether the Champions League was integral to the club's commercial viability, Hogan replied: "As it relates to a commercial partnerships perspective, no. The importance is about the size and scale of Liverpool and the ability we have to activate that."

Liverpool currently lie in sixth place in the Premier League, two points behind Manchester United, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.

However Rodgers' team play United at Anfield on 22 March, and will feel confident about overhauling their fierce rivals and securing another season in Europe's premier competition, after a string of impressive recent results including victories over Southampton and Tottenham.

Hogan also suggested to IBT that Anfield ticket prices are likely to raise again on completion of the club's new main stand. Read his comments on ticketing here.