I’ve been wondering for a while how much Champions League football is worth. Wednesday’s victory over Twente earned Spurs a £656,000 win bonus from UEFA on top of the £470,000 we got for just turning up.
Last May newspaper headlines were in bidding turmoil about how much Spurs Champions League qualification was worth. The Daily Mail led with “Tottenham seal £30m Champions League place”, the BBC suggested £40m, The Daily Mail countered again with “Crouch's £50m Winner” and the Mirror took the prize with “Spurs hit the £60million Champions League jackpot”. Even some of the Spurs Community forum posts during the summer suggested we should have been more active in the transfer market because we get “an extra 50 mill for CL group stage”.
After a bit of digging around my estimate of Champions League income is £16.5m, even if we go out in the group stage and lost every match. This is made up of £5.8m from playing and £10.7m from TV money.
The further we get the more money we make. The TV money is unlikely to change too much, however well we do.
If we were to get the last sixteen (£2.5m extra prize money) and win three games and draw one in the group stage (£2.3m) our total income from the competition would increase to £21.3m.
Spurs income in the last Deloitte rich list was £132m. So Champions League football could provide us with a 16 per cent increase in revenue. Gate receipts and merchandise sales will also swell clubs' coffers, though they may not be too different from revenue we might have received in the Europa League. Spurs can also cash in with more sponsorship opportunities, how much more was the Investec deal worth because we had Champions League football?
The rest of the column below provides details of the UEFA regulations and prize money. It is dull but it will enable an update as the competition progresses.
The prize money element is very clear in the UEFA regulation.
Each team in the group stage gets £5.83m (7.1,m Euros, UEFA gives all figures in Euros; 3.8m Euros for reaching the group stage and €550k per match, x6 matches = 3.3m Euros). There are also performance bonuses - £656,000 for a win and £328,000 for a draw.
Then we get to the knockouts, where the bigger money is up for grabs.
Playing in Round of 16: £2.46m
Playing in Quarters: £2.71m
Playing in Semis: £3.28m
Playing in Final: £4.27m
Champions League winners: £7.39m (plus the cup with big ears)
Last year Inter received £40.2m in prize (£23.8m) and TV money (£16.2m) for winning. Due to advantageous English TV money earnings Man Utd (who went out in the quarter finals) received £37.4m, this was more than Bayern (£36.1m) who lost in the final.
TV money (called the TV market pool by UEFA) comprises about 45% of the total UEFA money shared out amongst the 32 qualifying teams. It is distributed to each country according to the value of the national TV market. The UK is large and gets about 21% of the pot.
Last year the four English teams shared £79.11m of TV money. TV money is distributed in two parts.
Half the TV money (value £39.55m) is distributed according to the previous year’s league position (winners 40%, 2nd 30%, 3rd 15%, 4th 15%). Thus Spurs share of this is fixed at 15% or £5.93m.
The other half (value £39.55m) will be distributed according to the number of games Spurs play as a proportion of all the games played by English teams in the competition (i.e. total games played in the 2010/11 competition by Spurs, Man U, Chelski and the Scum). I’ve done the sums; the worst case scenario is that even if we go out in the group stage and two English teams are finalists and the other team lose in the semis we would still get 12 per cent of this pot – £4.75m. Perhaps a more realistic scenario is Spurs getting to the round of 16, two English teams in the semis and one in the quarter – this would give us 16.6% of the pot and income of £6.59m.
The TV market pool for 2010/11 is unclear, I have therefore used last year’s figures. UEFA media revenue for the competition is reported to have increased from 820m Euros a year in 2006-2009 to 1,100m in 2010, but I could not find a source that documents definitively how much of this is in the TV market pool in 2010/11.
The main lesson from all this is don't believe everything you read in the newspapers.