The clubs participating in the UEFA Champions League will have the opportunity to pocket a maximum of just over 85 million euros in results-based prize money during the coming season.
The 2021/22 group stage kicks off on Tuesday, with a total prize fund of 1.1bn euros available for distribution among the 32 sides in this season’s edition of Europe’s elite club competition.
Results-based Champions League prize money: how it breaks down in 2021/22
Teams will earn money for positive group-stage results and for every round of the tournament they negotiate – and if a club wins every group match and goes on to lift the trophy in St Petersburg next May, it will net a total of 85.1m euros, up from the previous maximum of 82.5m.
This year’s Champions League prize money breaks down as follows:
What 2021/22 UCL clubs will get in prize-money payments
- 15.64m euros for qualifying for the group stage
- 2.8m euros per group-stage win, 930,000 euros per group-stage draw
- 9.6m euros for qualifying for the last 16
- 10.6m euros for qualifying for the quarter-finals
- 12.5m euros for qualifying for the semi-finals
- 15.5m euros for qualifying for the final
- 4.5m euros for winning the final
In addition to a potential 85.1m euros in prize money directly related to the Champions League, the tournament winners also stand to receive 3.5m euros for qualifying for the UEFA Super Cup, and another 1m euros if they win the European football season’s curtain-raiser, which is to be held in Helsinki in August 2022.
Additional Champions League money
Prize money is not the only source of Champions League revenue for the 32 clubs, who will also pocket TV income and payments based on their ranking in the European game.
According to UEFA, 600.6m euros in what it calls “coefficient-based amounts” is to be distributed among this season’s Champions League clubs.
As part of this payment system, the clubs are ranked in order of the UEFA coefficient points they have accrued for their performance in Europe over the last 10 years, with 1.137m euros given to the club with the fewest points. Another 1.137m euros is then added to that amount per rank, up to a top fee of 36.38m euros.
Real Madrid currently lead UEFA’s coefficient table ahead of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, with the 2020/21 Champions League winners, Chelsea, in fifth. You can take a look at the full ranking here.
UEFA says a total of 300.3m euros in TV money is to be shared out among the Champions League clubs in 2021/22, with each country given a certain amount to distribute among its representatives, depending on the value of that nation’s TV market.
How much of that figure the clubs in every market then get not only depends on how far each of the country’s sides progress in the Champions League, but also where they finished in their domestic league in the previous campaign.
It is also impacted by how many clubs the country has in the Champions League: for example, runners-up Paris Saint-Germain are thought to have got a bigger broadcasting pay-out than winners Bayern Munich in 2019/20, in part because they only had to share France’s TV money with two other clubs, rather than three.
Some Champions League money to be deducted
Because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, UEFA is to deduct some of the 2.732bn euros in total that it plans to distribute among the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League clubs in the 2021/22 season.
This stems from the 2019/20 campaign, when UEFA revenue from European club competitions was 416.5m euros lower than anticipated because of the coronavirus pandemic. The amount of money the body agrees to share out each season is directly linked to the income it expects to bring in from its tournaments, but rather than paying out less that year, UEFA opted to recoup a portion of its revenue shortfall over the next four seasons, up to 2023/24.
This term, UEFA says it is to deduct a total of 83.3m euros from the money it distributes across its three club competitions, “in proportional amounts per competition and in proportion to each individual club’s income”.