Champions League

Real Madrid to profit after Barcelona, Atletico Madrid & Sevilla knocked out of Champions League

Jamie Spencer
Real Madrid are the only Spanish club left standing
Real Madrid are the only Spanish club left standing / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Real Madrid stand to financially profit from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla all getting knocked out of this season’s Champions League at the group stage.

Even with one matchday of this phase still left to play, it is guaranteed that Real will be the only Spanish club participating in the knockout stages. Barcelona and Sevilla will both drop into the Europa League as a result of third place finishes already being locked in, while Atletico could be out of Europe altogether if they end up bottom of their group next week.

It means that as Spain’s only representatives in the knockout stages, Real will take all of the country’s remaining share of UEFA’s market pool and it will grow the further they go.

For the 32 clubs competing in the Champions League group stage and onwards this season, UEFA have set aside an estimated total prize pot worth €2bn. Of that money, 25% is allocated as starting prize money just for reaching the group stage, another 30% is performance-related fixed amounts, while 30% is allocated as coefficient-based amounts.

The remaining 15% is the market pool, which is ‘distributed in accordance with the proportional value of each TV market represented by clubs taking part’. Half goes to clubs in a given country based on their domestic performance the previous season, i.e. most for the champions.

The other half of the value of each market is paid ‘in proportion to the number of matches played by each club’, although market pool distribution is only calculated at the very end of the competition.

But because Real are guaranteed to play at least two more games than any other Spanish club in this season’s Champions League, their share will automatically now be bigger.

Marca has suggested that Real have already pocketed €11.2m of the first half of Spain’s market pool share, with another €3.9m from playing in the group stage. But being the only remaining La Liga club in the Champions League is worth a minimum of €8.6m to them from the market pool alone.

That extra €8.6m could grow to €11.7m should they go all the way to the final again and total €26.8m by the end of the competition solely from the market pool – last season it was €16.8m because Atletico reached the quarter-finals and Villarreal got to the semis, ensuring the pot was split more ways.

Real’s total Champions League earnings for the season, which amounted to €116m in 2021/22, will be topped up by the aforementioned starting fee, performance bonuses and and coefficient shares. Winning the competition is worth a maximum of €85m just from performance prize money alone.

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