As Bayern Munich line-up against Inter Milan at the San Siro for their Group C Champions League group stage opener, they will have already won. Not won the three points but won in terms of their bank balance. Before a ball is even kicked the Bavarians will have banked a whopping €50 million just for turning up.
The Champions League has long been a commercial venture as much as it has been a sporting venture. Huge amounts of TV money and sponsorship have flowed into UEFA’s coffers and the prize money available to Europe’s biggest sides has been growing year on year. The higher you rank in the 10-year coefficient table, the larger slice of the pie you receive and with Bayern Munich currently second in that ranking table behind Real Madrid, the money is already flowing into the Sabener Strasse bank account.
There is a flat payment to all group stage participants of €15.64 million. Bayern’s ten-year coefficient ranking however nets them a massive €35.247 million giving them just over €50 million before the competition even gets underway.
The huge potential earnings don’t stop there with group stage bonuses paid for each match- €2.8m per win and and €930,000 per draw. Bayern are in a very tough group and Inter, but there is money to be earned. Qualification from the group stage would net €9.6m. Moving forward qualification for the quarter-finals nets €10.6m, the semi-finals €12.5m and the final €15.5m. The ultimate winners would also receive an additional €4.5m.
With Bayern the likeliest German club to progress to the quarter-finals and beyond, the gulf in their earnings with the rest of the Bundesliga becomes even starker. The fact the domestic sharing of the pie is also heavily skewed in their favour adds to the gulf in wealth.
For a comparison Borussia Dortmund’s initial payment in the Champions League this season is €44.5 million (9th in coefficient), Bayer Leverkusen (18th) will receive €32.695 million, RB Leipzig (23rd) get €27 million, while Eintracht Frankfurt (24th) will receive €25.873 million.
*Figures from: www.football-coefficient.eu