Wealth

European soccer’s Champions League trophy has found a home in Madrid for the past three seasons, as Real Madrid’s three successes in a row has meant it has had a firm grip on the title.

On June 1 next year, the famous cup will again be in the Spanish capital for this season’s final.

Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium will be the venue, but before that the 32 teams in this year’s group stage find out their fate at Thursday’s draw in Monaco.

There’s no doubting the prestige that comes with winning Europe’s premier soccer club competition, but the financial value of the Champions League is far less than what many of the top clubs trying to win it generate from playing in their own domestic leagues.

European soccer’s governing body UEFA has declared the overall gross commercial revenue for all the 2018/19 cup competitions will be 3.25 billion euros ($3.7 billion), with 2.04 billion euros to be distributed among all the participating clubs.

Making it to the group stage of the Champions League guarantees at least six matches until December. The 32 clubs will each receive an allocation of 15.25 million euros, with an additional bonus fee of 2.7 million euros for every match it wins and 900,000 euros on offer for a draw.

The 16 clubs that then qualify for the knockout stage can expect to receive the following amounts:

  • Qualification for the round of 16: 9.5 million euros per club.
  • Qualification for the quarter-finals: 10.5 million euros per club.
  • Qualification for the semi-finals: 12 million euros per club.
  • Qualification for the final: 15 million euros per club.
  • The UEFA Champions League winners can expect to pick up an additional 4 million euros.

In terms of prize money won, the team that picks up the trophy next year will win a total of 66.25 million euros, not including bonuses for match wins along the way.

Champions League teams are also awarded a share of UEFA’s television broadcasting rights income, estimated at 292 million euros, depending on the reputation of their domestic league and the number of games played throughout the tournament.

The English Premier League is likely to gain a greater proportion of that particular pot, with Liverpool FC making it as far as the final last season. Coach Jurgen Klopp’s side will hope to go far again and rival club Manchester City are also among the favorites.

Winning the Champions League comes with a financial reward, but the cash injected into the top division of English soccer has made its teams particularly wealthy, largely thanks to its significant TV rights deals.

A recent study carried out by the BBC found that 11 of the 20 Premier League clubs in 2016/17 would have made pre-tax profits even if they’d have played in empty stadiums and not collected any match day revenue. Of those clubs only Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur were participants in the Champions League that season.

Top level soccer matches aren’t about to dispense with the need for fans anytime soon, but the figures show teams may not necessarily rely on prize money to be successful off the field, but the prestige of winning trophies is still its biggest reward.

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