While by comparison in the Europa League, Manchester City and Liverpool were paid €6m each.
However, it isn’t just about the direct additional money you get from UEFA, the Champions League connection allows any club that qualifies, the opportunity to rebrand themselves as a totally different animal.
In an excellent article for The Guardian, David Conn explains exactly what the relative benefits are;
Uefa, when criticised, point out these figures represent relatively small portions of the clubs’ overall earnings: Arsenal’s Champions League distributed earnings were 11% of the club’s total £225m income last year; Chelsea’s were 16% of their £226m turnover; Spurs’ payment from Uefa represented 15% of their total earnings. Even United’s meaty £43m from reaching the final was only 13% of the club’s record turnover, £331m last year.
These figures do not, however, include the lucrative nature of a Champions League match night, of which all income goes solely to the home club. So United and Arsenal particularly, who earn fabulously from matches, bring in substantially more.
The Champions League, in summary, is not quite the huge earner it is often depicted to be compared to the lucre in the Premier League, but it does entrench the advantage of the already successful. Besides the achievement and prestige of playing on the grandest stage, it also provides a profile, broadcast in 220 countries, to which all big clubs aspire, and in turn makes them more from their own sponsorships and commercial activities.
That is why, taken together, the four places for which the top clubs are battling remain so coveted a prize.
I would guess that whatever money you get direct from UEFA, you can probably double that figure in terms of the long-term benefits for your club.
How Mike Ashley and Newcastle United would rise to that challenge/opportunity is one that we all hope we’ll be giving some thought to on our summer hols.