Participation in the Champions League can net clubs a significant financial windfall, making the top UEFA competition a primary objective for many European teams.
Furthermore, results in the Champions League can significantly increase a club's payout, meaning performances in the European tournament are of the utmost importance, as is advancement from round to round.
UEFA released the detailed figures for prize money payouts in the 2022/23 Champions League, with a total purse of €2.032 billion (£1.72b / $1.98b).
The Sporting News brings you a full breakdown of all the prize money allocations for group stage and knockout stage participants in the 2022/23 Champions League.
Champions League prize money 2022/23
Last season, champions Real Madrid collected €83.2 million in Champions League performance-based prize money, including an additional €4.5 million for winning the UEFA Super Cup in August 2022.
In the 2022/23 Champions League, winning the entire competition with a perfect group stage performance would earn a maximum prize money payout of €85.14 million.
Performance-based prize money (55 percent of total)
|Round of 16||€9.6m|
|Reaching group stage||€15.64m|
Other UEFA Champions League prize money
While 55 percent of the total prize purse is distributed among the clubs as a reward for their results in the competition as outlined above, the rest of the 45 percent of the pool is split across the 32 group stage participants in two ways.
Coefficient payout (30 percent of total)
A total of 30 percent of the prize money (€600.6m) is paid out to all 32 clubs in the Champions League group stage based on a coefficient algorithm that ranks their European performance over a 10-year period.
The teams are ranked according to this algorithm from No. 1 to No. 32, with bonus points given for hoisting European trophies. Then the money is paid out in shares, according to a team's rank. The lowest-ranked team earns one share (€1.137 million), while the top-ranked team earns 32 shares, or €36.38 million.
Broadcast market payout (15 percent of total)
An additional €300.3m (15 percent of the total purse) is made available as part of the broadcast revenue once all the broadcast deals are finalized around the continent.
The national federation for each country represented in the UEFA Champions League is provided a share of this money based on the proportional value of each TV market. Each national federation then distributes that money to the participating Champions League clubs based on:
- 50 percent of the allocation to a national federation will be divided among the participating Champions League clubs from that nation based on fixed percentages determined by UEFA.
- The other 50 percent is paid out in proportion to the number of matches played by each club in the 2022/23 competition.
Europa League and Europa Conference League prize money
While Champions League participation nets clubs a total prize money purse of over €2 billion, the Europa League and Europa Conference League are handed purses totaling a distant second and third by comparison
|UEFA Champions League||€2.032 billion|
|UEFA Europa League||€465 million|
|UEFA Conference League||€235 million|
The Europa League winner will earn about €15 million in performance-based prize money in the knockout stage, plus an additional possible €4.88 million in potential group stage earnings for a perfect six-match showing.
Meanwhile, the Europa Conference League winner will earn about €8.9 million in performance-based prize money in the knockout stage, plus an additional possible €3.65 million in potential group stage earnings for a perfect six-match showing in the group phase.
How did COVID-19 impact UEFA prize money?
Given the impact that COVID-19 has had on European football, UEFA announced prior to the 2021/22 season that some money would be withheld from prize distributions to assist with COVID-19 relief across European football.
UEFA stated that losses due to COVID-19 among European clubs in the 2019/20 season totaled €416.5 million, while clubs lost an additional €57.3 million in the 2020/21 season.
Therefore, UEFA decided to "withhold" this specific amount of money from the European cup prize pool over the next four to five seasons and allocate it to COVID-19 relief programs within European football.