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Champions League prize money explained as Liverpool gets chance to make millions

Liverpool will be back in the Champions League next season.
-Credit: (Image: 2020 Soccrates Images B.V.)


After missing out on a season of Champions League football due to the bad campaign that was 2022/23, Liverpool will be back in UEFA's premiere competition ahead of next season. The Reds will take part in the new, expanded version of the competition, with the governing body opting for a 'Swiss model' approach that's often seen in chess tournaments.

Gone are the days of the group stage, which has been in existence in one shape or another since the rebranding of the tournament in 1992. Instead, Liverpool will face eight different teams with everyone in one big league table, with the positions then defining what the knockout phase that follows will look like.

Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are set to contest the final today at Wembley in the last iteration of the old competition, and things will look very different from next season on. Aside from the possibility to win a trophy, there is a massive amount of money involved in participating in the Champions League, and the competition is only getting more lucrative.

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Should Madrid or Dortmund win this season's final at Wembley, they will walk away with $21m (£17m/€20m) in Uefa prize money, with the runner-up receiving $16m (£13m/€15m). Qualifying for each round of the competition brings with it bonus money. Even in the group stage, a single win amounts to $3.0m (£2.3m/€2.8m). Performance-based prize money accounts for around 55 per cent of the total winnings distributed to clubs by UEFA.

Even if a team doesn't win a single game in the group stage and exits the competition, it would still leave with around $16m (£13.37m/€15.64m). Another $652m (£512m/€600m) is handed out to teams based on its UEFA coefficient ranking, while the final $325m (£256m/€300m) from broadcasting is shared between national federations and their respective clubs.

Next season there is due to be even more prize money on offer, as the first round will have an extra two games on offer — eight compared to six — and thus more prize money and match day revenue to be made. Liverpool's last season in the Champions League, in which it was knocked out by Real Madrid at the round of 16 stage, still saw the club bank $91m (€84m/£71m).

This season, the club played in the Europa League and earned a fraction of that, walking away with $33m (£27m/€31m), a significant drop compared to the prior season, despite advancing one stage further. Atalanta, eventual winners of the competition, knocked Liverpool out 3-1 on aggregate.

Liverpool.com says: Liverpool needs to be aiming for the Champions League every single year, not just on a prestige level, but for the riches that come from playing in the competition. As highlighted, the drop off in money from the Champions League to the Europa League is stark, and the Reds cannot afford to be outside of Europe's premier tournament too often.