Revealed: How UEFA Champions League Organisers Make Their Money

The UEFA Champions League is unarguably the biggest club competition in the world. The suspense, drama, and the level of teams involve makes it different from every other competition. The “Champions League official anthem, written and composed by an English composer Tony Britten mirrors what the competition itself is all about.

How UEFA Champions League Organisers Make Their Money

As a matter of fact, some players’ profile is not complete if there is no UEFA Champions League trophy. Hence, top players like Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Batistuta, Dennis Bergkamp, Gianluigi Buffon, Eric Cantona, Lothar Matthaus, Pavel Nedved, Ronaldo and other top players who haven’t won the prestigious competition will always come out to express their “regret” in not doing so.

Back to the question – ” how do UEFA make their money”

We understand that UEFA’s gross commercial revenue from the 2021/2022 Football season is believed to be around €3.25bn. From the money,  €1.95bn is distributed to clubs who participate in the competition with the remainder being used for administrative costs, solidarity payments, and clubs participating in other UEFA competitions such as the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Champions League “Pot”

Under the current UEFA financial distribution model, the €1.95bn as mentioned is divided into four pillars:

  • 25% Participation (€488m)
  • 30% Performance (€585m)
  • 30% Co-efficient Ranking (€585m)
  • 15% TV Market Pool (€292m)
  • Participation (€488m)

All of the 32 clubs which qualified Champions League group stage will usually receive about receive €15.25m (i.e. €488m/32).

Performance (€585m)

During the group stage, €2.7m worth of performance bonuses will be paid out for each match.

Co-Efficient Ranking (€585m)

30% of the Champions League pot is distributed to teams based on their position in the UEFA co-efficient ranking, which takes into account performances over a ten-year period.

UEFA earns significant sums through collectively selling broadcasting rights[1], commercial rights and tickets/hospitality, and will then distribute those sums back to the participating teams using a complex financial distribution model.

The figures below are the break down of the UEFA Champions League prize money for each round reached.

At the advantage end, they have less liabilities than clubs; they don’t have stadium to erect, players payment isn’t their business, and of course they have a staff but significantly lower than a traditional top club with players.

A breakdown of UEFA Champions League prize money

Round Prize money
Reaching 1st qualifying round €300,000
Reaching 2nd qualifying round €400,000
Reaching 3rd qualifying round €500,000
Reaching group stage €15.64m
Winning a group stage game €2.8m
Drawing a group stage game €930,000
Reaching last 16 €9.9m
Reaching quarter-finals €10.6m
Reaching semi-finals €12.5m
Losing in final €15.5m
Winning in final €20m

Below are the highest-earning clubs during the 2021-22 Champions League through to the final.