The Champions League is European football’s money spinner, which is why places in the standings are so coveted by every club on the continent. In the lead-up to the 2023/2024 season, it was confirmed that the official prize money would be increased to £1.7 billion.
This eye-watering figure comfortably makes the Champions League the most lucrative club competition in the world. How then is the money allocated, and who is the favourite to claim the spoils in 2024?
Man City eye up more Champions League profits
Basically, the further a club progresses in the competition, the more they will earn, with the eventual winners taking home the biggest cheque. This season, Man City will be eyeing up another windfall payout after winning the 2022/2023 title. With the latest Champions League winner odds pricing Pep Guardiola’s men as the favourites at just 2/1, there’s every chance that City’s accounts will receive another significant boost.
Man City are regarded as the best squad in Europe and having finally ended their continental trophy drought last season, it’s little wonder why the latest Champions League betting tips make them the ultimate team to beat.
While there’s more to be gained by going all the way, it’s not just the winners that walk away with a profit. Here’s how the prize money is shared over every stage of the competition.
Qualifying for the Champions League
Qualification to the Champions League is always hard-earned, which is why clubs are awarded £13.6 million before a ball is even kicked in the competition. This sum means that clubs don’t go home empty-handed in the event they’re knocked out in the group stages. However, generous incentives are offered to clubs who are able to avoid defeat in the group stage with a draw earning a club £810,000 and a win netting a team £2.4 million.
Round of 16
The top two clubs from every group advance to the first knockout phase, which is the Round of 16. This is where the prize money begins to go up exponentially as any club able to achieve this feat is awarded £8.3 million. It’s worth noting that many clubs have tried and failed to access this stage of the competition. Most notably, in 2023, Club Brugge finally reached the Round of 16 after 10 failed attempts.
Reaching the quarter-final means that a club earns £9.2 million. Napoli was able to do this during the 2022/2023 season for the first time in the club’s history. On that occasion, they were pitted against fellow Serie A club AC Milan who edged a tight contest 2-1 on aggregate, thus denying Napoli a chance to enjoy the regards of a rare semi-final berth.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) April 18, 2023
A place in the semi-finals of the Champions League has the potential to change a club’s destiny with £10.9 million on offer to every team who successfully reaches the last four stage. Historically, this isn’t always enough, though.
This windfall awarded to clubs in the last four wasn’t enough to stop 2001 semi-finalists Leeds United from going into financial collapse in 2004. They were relegated twice and subsequently spent 16 years outside of the Premier League.
Had the Whites made the final in 2001 and not lost to Valencia in the semis, then almost two decades of misery could have been avoided as the club would have earned the money needed to repay their creditors. Essentially, Leeds had borrowed significantly to win the Champions League but fell short and paid the price.
Winning the 2023/2024 Champions League title will earn a club £20.4 million. While the pain of losing a game of this prestige will be acute, it’s softened as the runners-up receive £13.5 million for their troubles.
Got me a new hat! 🏆🤪 pic.twitter.com/HbT2zfvnYM
— Kevin De Bruyne (@KevinDeBruyne) June 10, 2023
Overall, if a club were to win all of their games in this season’s competition then they would net £74 million. As it stands after matchday four, only Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City have a 100% record out of 32 clubs. Perhaps that’s the biggest indicator yet as to who might win this season’s Champions League and in doing so, earn a king’s ransom.