The Champions League is one of the most lucrative sports tournaments in the world, and the prize money continues to rise each year. According to UEFA, an estimated $2.7 billion (€2.35 billion) was brought in through the 2017-18 Champions League. An estimated $2 billion (€1,718.7 million) will get divided up among the teams who participated in the Champions League.
The Champions League winning club will receive $18.26 million (€15.5 million) for the victory, while the runner-up earns $12.96 million (€11 million). Both teams will make much more than that off the Champions League through shared revenue. These are just the bonuses Real Madrid and Liverpool earn for reaching and/or winning the final. The bonuses the players receive depend on each team. According to Goal.com, Real Madrid players earned a $1.77 million bonus for winning both the La Liga and Champions League in 2016-17.
It is not just the top two teams that make money, but all the participants, regardless of how the team fared in the tournament. The money earned by the rest of the teams is a bit more complicated, but is somewhat dependent on how the team played in the tournament. Here’s how UEFA breaks down the specific payment, and we have added the U.S. dollar equivalent in brackets.
Every domestic champion club that does not qualify for the group stage will receive a solidarity payment of €260,000 [$306,013] in addition to the amounts due for participation in the qualifying rounds (which only teams not qualifying for the group stage are entitled to): €220,000 [$258,934] (for the first qualifying round). €320,000 [$376,632] (for the second), €420,000 [$494,329] (for the third; for eliminated sides only). Clubs going out in the play-offs pick up their first and second round payments, plus the above mentioned €260,000 [$306,013].
(Note that all net revenue from the three club competitions – including from ticket sales and hospitality packages for the three finals – is centralised and then reallocated.)
The specific numbers for each club will not be known until all the 2017-18 revenue has been accounted for, but fans can get a sense for what the top clubs make based on last year’s breakdown that is shown in the table below.
According to Total Sportek, the purse for the 2017-18 Champions League will be higher, in part, thanks to a 15 percent increase in TV market share. Television deals play a huge role in revenue for the Champions League, and ultimately the participating teams. American soccer fans will notice a change in the 2018-19 TV broadcast after Turner agreed to pay an estimated $65 million annually to be the new broadcast partner here in the States.
According to The New York Times, Turner plans on drastically altering the way Champions League matches are shown in America by showing about 80 percent of the games online through a paid streaming services. Fans will still be able to watch big matches like the final and semifinals on cable, but the majority of games will be shown online.
“This isn’t about taking current rights and putting them on this platform,” Turner president David Levy told The New York Times. “This is a new platform, which is untethered to our existing businesses.”
Here’s a look at the Forbes breakdown of the top 10 earners from the 2016-17 Champions League. Keep in mind the earnings will be higher this year, and will feature some new clubs.
Champions League Top Earners 2016-17
|2. Leicester City||Quarterfinals||$96,383,580|
|3. Real Madrid||Winner||$95,640,180|
|4. Napoli||Round of 16||$77,890,620|
|5. AS Monaco||Semifinal||$76,328,300|
|6. Arsenal||Round of 16||$76,196,140|
|7. Atletico Madrid||Semifinal||$71,525,700|
|9. Paris Saint-Germain||Round of 16||$65,269,340|
|10. Bayern Munich||Quarterfinals||$64,619,160|
Source: Heavy Sports