Every team in Europe wants to compete in the Champions League, partly for the glory but also for the huge swathes of cash sloshing around in the competition. The money on offer for the teams in the continent’s top competition is mind-boggling.
The clubs that took part in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League group stage, and the ten eliminated in the playoffs, have shared between them more than $1.64 bn in payments from UEFA.
Under the distribution system for the 2015–18 commercial cycle, which was introduced in 2015-16, all net revenue from the club competitions (including the sale of tickets and hospitality packages for the Champions League and Europa League finals and the Super Cup) is centralised and reallocated to the Champions League and Europa League clubs.
A total of $58.7 m was shared by the 20 clubs to take part in the playoffs. The ten that qualified for the Champions League group stage received $2.35 m each and the other ten, who joined the Europa League group stage, each ended up richer by $3.5 m.
Each club was guaranteed a minimum payment of $14.9m for participating in the group stage, while additional performance bonuses of $1.76m per win and $587,350 per draw were also paid out.
The $587,350 surplus for each drawn match was pooled and redistributed to all clubs taking part in the group stage in accordance with the number of wins they achieved.
Further bonuses were paid for each knockout round reached at the rate of $7.05m for the round of 16; $7.64m for the quarter-finals, $8.81m for the semi-finals, $12.92m for the runners-up and $18.21 for the winners.
UEFA awarded a basic fee of $15 million to each of the 32 Champions League teams, plus bonuses for results and a share of TV rights money known as the market pool. That complex formula gave clubs a share of broadcast deals covering their home country and allowed domestic champions to earn more.
Beaten finalist Juventus topped the Champions League prize money table with receipts of $130.4m from UEFA.
Leicester edge passed title-winning Real Madrid for second place with $96.5m in UEFA’s published list as the English champions banked a bigger share of broadcast rights money.
British and Italian TV deals were more valuable than the Spanish rights, and were shared between fewer clubs than Spain’s five in the competition.
The winners Real Madrid earned just over $95.7 m.
For the full list of payments made by UEFA to the clubs, click here.
The revenues will rise significantly from the next season, as a new cash distribution model for the 2018-21 seasons has been agreed by UEFA and the European Club Association.
This new formula will better reward teams that advance deeper into the competition and is weighted to favor clubs that won European titles since UEFA launched club competitions in 1955.