How Champions league money is distributed.

In the aftermath of the 2 Manchesters being knocked out of Champions League football, fans of the 2 London teams still in the competition took the occasion to gloat.

Not too impressed with our glee some people—who should really know better—pointed out that 2 less teams in the champions League means less money for Arsenal and Chelsea. The next day Matt Scott of the guardian on national radio confirmed this, adding that it may even affect the English coefficient.

Could it really be that the Manchester teams had screwed us by being so shit? I immediately tweeted that @diggermattscott was wrong. Far from reducing our cut, being the only 2 English teams left meant a bigger share of the Market Pool.

Turns out I too was wrong. So lets put this straight. The UEFA Champions league prize money split can be a complicated beast, but bear with us.

Group Stages

That’s the simplest part, prize money is straight forward distributed as follows:

  • €7.2m for participation in group stages.
  • €800k for a win.
  • €400k for a draw

Real Madrid has already scooped €12m in the group stages by winning all their matches, whilst Villarreal did themselves no favours with their performance.

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Knockout phase

Also straight forward.

  • €3m for Round of 16
  • €3.3 at Quaterfinals
  • €4.2 Semifinals
  • €5.6 Runner up
  • €9m winners prize.

So if you win every game your total prize money will be €31.5m which is by no means a figure to sniff at. However considering that  Manchester United got got €29.2m in 2010 just for reaching the quarter finals you can see the real money comes in the form of TV distribution or the Market Pool as UEFA prefers to call it.

This year the market pool is estimated at €341m, which is shared amongs all teams participating in the group stages. How much you get from that pool is based on, in order of importance:

  1. The size of your domestic Tv Market
  2. Your final position in the previous season’s league.
  3. How many games you play in the competition

The English market pool is estimated at €84m but the distribution is skewed in favour of your place in the previous season’s league table. So much so that unless Arsenal go all the way to the finals, league Champions Manchester United can still expect to earn more TV money—estimated €24m—than Arsenal despite being out of the competition.

FIG.1 —2010-11 Champions league prize money. Click to zoom

For comparison in the 2009/2010 Premier League Arsenal was 3rd and Spurs 4th. Although Spurs made it to the quarter finals and Arsenal was knocked out in the round of 16, the Gunners still took home €2m more of the market pool than TottenhamFig.1.

The previous year illustrates this sharper. Liverpool who was second in the league did not make it out of the group yet took home €20m of the Market Pool playing 4 less games compared to €16mfig.2 for Arsenal who made to the quarter finals.

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FIG.2 —2009-10 UCL prize money distribution. click to zoom

In conclusion, except for the small amount earned for actual games played TV money is already apportioned, and it has nothing to do with how many teams left in the competition at this stage and everything to do with how well you do in your league.

1 Comment

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