The Champions League has always been a valuable prize in more ways than one. As well as the prestige on offer for doing well, there’s plenty of money too.
Despite being dumped out by Ajax in the second round last year, Real Madrid can still comfort themselves with the knowledge that they remain the most successful club in the Champions League era, pocketing more than €860million in the process.
Since the competition was rebranded in 1992, increasing the financial rewards on offer to the biggest clubs and helping to crystallise existing inequalities, €17billion has been given out in prize money, according to L’Equipe.
Each season, the 32 clubs that qualify for the Champions League, and the ten who are eliminated in the play-offs, are rewarded for their efforts.
The overall prize pot has increased considerably over the last 27 years, rising from €24million in the first year of the Champions League (1992-93) to €2billion in the last (2018-19).
This incredible increase has been driven by advertising revenues and TV rights. With their consistent track record, winning the competition seven times since 1992, Real Madrid have been the biggest beneficiaries.
Bayern Munich (€826million) have earned the second most from the Champions League, with Barcelona (€811million) in third. Juventus (€780million) and Manchester United (€701million) complete the top five.
There’s a steep drop off from there, reflecting fewer qualifications and more sporadic progress into the latter stages, with Chelsea (€595million) sixth.
Manchester City (€431million) and Liverpool (€425million) are two of the favourites to claim this year’s Champions League title but both fall outside the top ten for earnings made from the competition.
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