SPORTS LAW AT THE CROSSROADS

€3.5bn Champions League fat cats all set for another mega-money feed

April 9 – The eight UEFA Champions League quarter finalists generated a total of generated total revenue of €3.5 billion in 2017/18. The FC Barcelona versus Manchester United will be the richest tie in the history of UEFA competition – the clubs generated a combined €1.4 billion.

The figures from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group looked at the financial performance of the last eight clubs in this year’s competition, taking data from their Money League Report.

The Deloittes report authors point out: “For the first time since the 2008/09 season, the quarter-finals include four Premier League teams, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur generating 63% (€2.2 billion) of the quarterfinalists’ total revenue. The all-Premier League tie between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur has a combined revenue of €1 billion. Spurs’ successful Champions League run may see them improve on their current and highest-ever Money League position of tenth.”

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, says that this season Champions League money will hit new levels with UEFA’s new broadcast deals, but the impact on other streams is significant – noticeable losers in the money equation are Real Madrid who have dominated the competition in recent years but were knocked out before the quarter finals.

“Participating and progressing in the Champions League delivers significant revenue benefits in terms of UEFA distributions and matchday revenue, and sustained success on the pitch is also likely to translate into commercial revenue growth over time. This is the first year of a new set of broadcasting arrangements and distribution mechanism for UEFA. Quarter-finalists have already earned a minimum distribution from UEFA in excess of €60m, and the team that lifts the trophy, and possibly others, will generate in excess of €100m in central distributions alone,” said Jones.

In the Europa League Arsenal’s fixture with Napoli has a combined revenue of €622 million, greater than the two other fixtures in the Champions League quarter-finals, Liverpool versus Porto (€619.5m) and Juventus versus Ajax (€486.8m).

Sam Boor, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Porto and Ajax have made it to the Champions League quarter-finals despite ranking outside this year’s Money League top 30 demonstrating that, fortunately, on-pitch success is not always dictated by money.”

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