Champions League 2021/22: how much money can clubs earn?

Champions League Prize

We take a look at how much the 32 clubs in the 2021/22 Champions League can make through prize money, “coefficient-based” payments and TV revenue.

The 32 clubs participating in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League will have the chance to earn a maximum of just over 85 million euros in prize money, on top of “coefficient-based” payments and TV money.

2021/22 Champions League prize money: an overview
The prize money a team will net if it wins every group-stage game and goes on to lift Europe’s elite club trophy in St Petersburg next May is 85.1m euros, up from the previous maximum of 82.5m.

That’s significantly more than the clubs competing in UEFA’s second and third-tier competitions can hope to earn: the top prize money available in the UEFA Europa League is 23.4m euros, while the new UEFA Europa Conference League offers up a maximum pot of 15.5m.

In all, the total of 1.1bn euros in Champions League prize money breaks down as follows:

What clubs will get in UCL 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 2021/22 Champions League money

“Coefficient-based amounts”:
According to UEFA, a further 600.6m euros is set to be distributed among the 2021/22 Champions League clubs in the shape of what it calls “coefficient-based amounts”.

This payment system sees all 32 clubs ranked in order of the UEFA coefficient points they have earned for their performance in European competitions over a 10-year period, with 1.137m euros given to the lowest-ranked club. Another 1.137m euros is then added to that fee per rank, up to a top amount of 36.38m euros for the team with the highest UEFA coefficient.

Currently, Real Madrid lead UEFA’s 10-year coefficient table ahead of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, with the Champions League holders, Chelsea, sitting in fifth. You can check out the full ranking out here.

TV money

UEFA says a total of 300.3m euros in television 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 received more TV income than winners Bayern Munich in 2019/20, in part because they only had to share that 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 2019/20, when UEFA revenue from European club competitions was 416.5m euros lower than anticipated because of the 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”.

Further reading: For in-depth analysis of how money is distributed in Europe’s club competitions, and of the finances of football in general, take a look at the excellent Swiss Ramble Twitter account.