Time and time again we hear of the importance of playing in the prestigious UEFA Champions League.
The game’s most memorable icons and legends have all plied their trade in the competition whilst representing some of the biggest clubs in world football.
It’s no secret what the competition offers for both clubs and fans alike; European nights where the cities of respective participants are engulfed in a celebratory atmosphere to drive their club towards the dream of lifting the 7.5 kg trophy commonly referred to as ‘big ears’.
While fans enjoy the bragging rights of seeing their club featured in the biggest competition at club level, the participants have another motivator for ensuring they’re under the bright lights of a Tuesday or Wednesday night clash: money.
In fact, each of the 32 participating clubs in the UEFA Champions League Group Stages are guaranteed – at the very worst – a minimum fixed payment of €12.7 million each, per an official report on UEFA’s website.
A win in the Group Stage? That’s another €1.5 million, while a draw will yield €500,000.
Round of 16 participants will see their bank account increased by an additional €6 million, rising to €6.5 million extra to Quarter-Finalists and another €7.5 for those who make the Semi-Final.
UEFA Champions League winners will receive a further €15.5 million and the runners-up €11 million.
This means a club can expect to pocket €57.2 million – in the best-case scenario – before additional payments are taken into consideration, such as market pool share.
In total, €1.718 billion worth of revenue will be distributed amongst teams participating in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Europa League.
However, €1.318 billion will be distributed to teams in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup, while the remaining €399.8 million goes to UEFA Europa League participants.
Here, it becomes clear to see the disparity between those playing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
While these figures might not hold a great bearing on the futures of European powerhouses like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, they present a golden opportunity for European minnows such as NK Maribor – who recently qualified for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage.