By Paul Nicholson
December 5 – FIFA has released details of more than $209 million in payouts to clubs worldwide for use of their players at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
FIFA said that the payments, made under the Club Benefits Programme, will be paid out to 416 clubs from 63 member associations, an increase of almost 200% on the previous World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Of that £209 million UEFA nations account for a staggering $157.8 million, showing where the real balance of playing power lies globally. Of UEFA’s money, England dominated with its clubs receiving £37.4 million, more than £15 million more than Spain.
Both England and Spain will receive more than any other regional confederation with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) earning more than their confederation counterparts (excluding UEFA) and demonstrating that their focus on growing their members’ national football is bringing results.
The AFC members will receive more than $19.8 million that will share between eight nations with Japan leading the way. China, who didn’t play in Russia, will see more than $2.8 million shared between 11 clubs who had players at the World Cup.
Interestingly Conmebol, who have traditionally had an elevated status and big voice in world football, saw their nations only receive $11.3 million with Argentina and Brazil leading the way with about $2.7 million each.
If they were clubs in England (rather than national associations) they would only rank fifth and sixth in the revenue table, ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal but behind both Manchester clubs, Spurs and Chelsea.
None of those clubs have a direct say in how FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino organises the international football calendar, but Conmebol has been credited recently with being particularly vocal in support of Infantino’s World Cup and calendar expansion plans.
Conmebol were also almost $2 million behind the $13.1 million Concacaf nations will receive. African nations will receive just $6.3 million, while not a single dollar will be sent to Oceania clubs.
The $209 million amount for the clubs is divided by the total number of player days (24,500), which results in a rounded amount per player per day at the World Cup of $8,530. This is then multiplied by the number of days each player is at the final competition, starting two weeks before the opening match until the day following the last match.
FIFA acknowledged that “the ten clubs who had the most players in the squads at the World Cup and who will in turn receive the biggest share of the benefits are all European powerhouses: Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF, Tottenham Hotspur FC, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC, Club Atlético de Madrid, Juventus FC, and AS Monaco.”
However, FIFA also pointed out “that substantial amounts will also go to clubs from Asia, Africa and the Americas as well as to other leagues in Europe. For instance, the following clubs will each receive more than USD 1 million: Al Ahly (Egypt), Al-Hilal FC and Al-Ahli FC (Saudi Arabia), CF Pachuca (Mexico), CA Boca Juniors (Argentina), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), Celtic FC (Scotland), RSC Anderlecht (Belgium), AFC Ajax and Feyenoord Rotterdam (Netherlands).
Wherever FIFA is handing out money, a benevolent Infantino is sure to be found making his presence noticeable. “The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of football, generating passion and emotion from every player and every fan in every corner of the world. It is FIFA’s responsibility to redistribute the revenues of this unique competition among the entire football community, and clubs, obviously, deserve to share in this success as they were key contributors. I’m very pleased to see that teams from so many different regions will benefit from this programme, which will help to develop football even further around the globe,” said Infantino in a FIFA press release.
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