Page last updated at 23:13 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Champions League nets football clubs 50m euros

By Richard Anderson
Business reporter, BBC News

European cup with Barcelona colours
Barcelona earned 110m euros from winning the Champions League in 2009

Football clubs still in this season's UEFA Champions League have made on average 50m euros ($72m; £45m) from the competition, research has suggested.

Commercial revenues are up despite the downturn, the Mastercard study found.

The 50m euros is made up of participation and prize monies, UEFA and club commercial revenues, ticket sales and increased squad values.

The study also found the competition in the 2009 calendar year generated 6bn euros for the European economy.

This is the same amount as the last FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.

'Guaranteed returns'

"Commercial revenues are up this season, and the reason is the economic downturn," said Simon Chadwick, professor of sports business strategy at Coventry University, who conducted the research.

There is money in the system. The transfer market was inflated over the summer with the sales of Ronaldo, Kaka and Ibrahimovic
Simon Chadwick, Professor of sports business, Coventry University

He cited the example of this year's Superbowl in the US, which generated record advertising revenues.

"In hard times, sponsors need to be careful about what they spend on - they are looking for a guaranteed return.

"They know people will watch the Champions League, so they are just minimising risk."

TV audiences are also rising, he said.

This means clubs get more money from UEFA's commercial arrangements, and from their own.

Prize money

The 50m euros is comprised of 14m euros in participation and prize money, 12m euros from UEFA's commercial deals, 8m euros from the club's own sponsors and merchandise sales, and 6m euros from increased player values.

How the 50m euros is made up

Professor Chadwick said the increased exposure players get through the Champions League increased their value.

He cited Lyon, which has made no secret of the fact it specifically targets the competition in order to increase the resale value of its players.

"And there is money in the system. The transfer market was inflated over the summer with the sales of Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid), Kaka (AC Milan to Real Madrid) and Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan to Barcelona)," he added.

French champions Bordeaux have made 11.5m euros in prize money alone from this season's competition - more than any other team.

Next come Chelsea and Fiorentina, which have won 11.1m euros.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Lyon, Real Madrid and Sevilla have all made 10.7m euros.

The reason for the difference in payments is UEFA pays win bonuses per game - 800,000 euros for a win, 400,000 euros for a draw, and nothing for a loss.

The team which goes on to win this season's competition in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of Real Madrid, stands to generate 31.2m euros from prize money alone, the study said.

Last season's winners, FC Barcelona, earned 110m euros in total.

Steven Gerrard, captain of Liverpool FC
Liverpool may be counting the cost of dropping out of the Champions League

Europa League

For those teams that have not made it into the knock-out stages of the competition, the financial implications could be severe, even for clubs that will now play in the Europa League, such as Liverpool and Juventus.

"The Champions League is the premier European football competition, offering commercial revenues far in excess of the Europa League. In no way are [the two competitions] comparable," said Professor Chadwick.

He said any team would have to go all the way to the final of the Europa League, or even win it, to get similar revenues to those available to teams which get through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

In terms of countries, England, Italy and Spain have benefitted from the largest economic boost this calendar year, the report said.

With Manchester United reaching the final and all four representatives reaching the knock-out stage, English clubs benefitted to tune of 129.5m euros in prize money alone.

Italian clubs, with three teams in the knock-out stages, earned 104m euros, while Spanish clubs earned 96.9m euros.

Prize money  won by teams still in the Champions League

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