English football clubs pocketed an average of 160 million euros ($234 million) each in prize money in the last six Champions League seasons, almost four times as much as the Spanish figure.
Sports business consultancy StageUp has estimated that European soccer’s governing body UEFA distributed more than 3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) to 70 clubs competing in the world’s most lucrative club soccer tournament over the last six years. But this fortune was not awarded in equal parts.
Premier League Chelsea lead the biggest earners’ list with a total of about 184 million euros, followed by last season’s runners-up Manchester United (around 171 million euros) and Arsenal.
French club Olympique Lyon are fourth with Liverpool, who did not qualify in 2003/04, fifth on 131 million. By contrast, four Russian teams have grabbed around 10 million euros each.
On average, this boils down to 30m (Chelsea) to 22m (Liverpool) per year of income from the Champions League every year.
In Spain, despite the dominance of holders Barcelona and Real Madrid, 10 clubs have qualified for the competition since 2003 compared to England’s four so the figures are diluted.
Approximately half of the Champions League’s total prize money is distributed on the basis of television market share, while the other half is given out as fixed sums on results. Clubs earn extra money from ticket sales and merchandise.
Three English clubs have competed in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the past three seasons.
This season, the Champions League’s fixed rewards are up 26 percent on last year, with a starting fee of 7.1 million euros.
A group stage victory pays 800,000 euros while the final scheduled for May 22 in Madrid will be worth 9 million euros to the winner compared to last season’s 7 million.