English clubs dominate Champions League prize money

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The Independent Football

English soccer clubs pocketed an average of £139 million each in prize money in the last six Champions League seasons, almost four times as much as the Spanish figure, a study showed today.

In a report released only to Reuters outside Italy, sports business consultancy StageUp estimated European soccer's governing body UEFA distributed more than £2.6 billion to 70 clubs competing in the world's most lucrative club soccer tournament over the last six years.

But this fortune was not awarded in equal parts.

"Our study shows that good policies for sharing revenues in domestic championships, like in the Premier League, are not enough to prevent a few clubs from being the only winners," said Giovanni Palazzi, president of Italy-based StageUp.

Premier League Chelsea lead the biggest earners' list with a total of about £160 million followed by last season's runners-up Manchester United (around £149 million) and Arsenal.

French club Olympique Lyon are fourth with Liverpool, who did not qualify in 2003/04, fifth on £114 million. By contrast, four Russian teams have grabbed around £8.7 million each.

In Spain, despite the dominance of holders Barcelona and Real Madrid, 10 clubs have qualified for the competition since 2003 compared to England's four so the figures are diluted.

Approximately half of the Champions League's total prize money is distributed on the basis of television market share, while the other half is given out as fixed sums on results. Clubs earn extra money from ticket sales and merchandise.

Three English clubs have competed in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the past three seasons.

This season, the Champions League's fixed rewards are up 26 per cent on last year, with a starting fee of £6.2 million euros.

A group stage victory pays £700,000 euros while the final scheduled for May 22 in Madrid will be worth £7.8 million to the winner compared to last season's £6.1 million.

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