Chelsea top UEFA prize money list with $126m last season
Champions League winners Chelsea topped UEFA’s awards list for last season, while traditional powerhouses Juventus and Barcelona were far behind in a campaign in which they have led efforts to launch a more lucrative Super League.
Chelsea won nearly 120 million euros ($126.5 million) out of a total fund of nearly 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) shared by the 32 Champions League clubs. That was just ahead of beaten runners-up Manchester City, who received just over 119 million euros ($125.6 million).
Further down the list – trailing at least €35m ($37m) behind Chelsea and Man City – were the traditional high earners Barcelona and Juventus.
Both clubs lost in the Round of 16 and UEFA’s list shows Barcelona earned less than €85m ($90m) and Juventus less than €83m ($88m) .
The two clubs, along with Real Madrid, then led an elite group of 12 teams trying to break away from UEFA and launch their own Super League, which was announced a month after their Champions League exits. The project aimed to give more money to founding members and secure their place in the competition even if the team was underperforming. They said the project was needed for a struggling football industry after many clubs reported record losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other nine Super League members, including Chelsea and Man City, quickly scrapped the plan amid fierce backlash from fans, national governments and UEFA, leading to its collapse within 48 hours.
The 32 Champions League clubs receive an equal entry fee, match result bonuses, a share of their national broadcast contract and a weighted payment based on the historic record in UEFA competitions.
Semi-finalists Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain each received almost €110m ($116m) last year, the only other clubs to earn a nine-figure sum from UEFA .
The prize money standings for Juventus and Barcelona will be similar this season.
Juventus again went out in the Round of 16 against a lower-ranked opponent. Barcelona didn’t even advance from their group and then lost in the Europa League quarter-finals.
UEFA’s record for 2020-21 again showed the wealth gap between the marquee Champions League and the second-tier Europa League.
UEFA’s lowest payment to a Champions League club was €18.45m ($19.5m) for Ferencváros of Hungary, who lost five of their six Champions League matches. groups.
Ferencváros received just 1.1 million euros ($1.16 million) from UEFA’s 585 million euro ($618 million) fund rewarding clubs for their historic record in European competitions . In contrast, 13-time European champions Madrid received 35.5 million euros ($37.5 million) from the fund.
These “coefficient” payments started in 2018 under pressure from the European Club Association, led by the clubs who then tried to create the Super League.
The Europa League prize fund for clubs was €541m ($571m) – around 28% of the Champions League sum, and shared among 56 clubs instead of 32.
Europa League winner Villarreal received 33.1 million euros ($35 million) and the team he beat in the semi-finals, Arsenal, earned just under 30 million euros ($31.6 million).
Manchester United, beaten runners-up in the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group, received a combined total of 79.6 million euros ($83.6 million) from the two competitions.
From the Champions League fund, €8m ($8.4m) went to the ECA, which represents nearly 250 clubs that play in UEFA competitions.
Each club has seen around 5% of their prize money deducted as part of a five-year deal to pay rebates to UEFA broadcasters and sponsors should the pandemic-hit 2019-20 season be disrupted.
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