Wednesday 24 July 2019

REVEALED: Irish clubs learn the huge amounts of UEFA money on offer if they progress in Europe

Daniel Kelly of Dundalk following the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round 1st Leg match between Dundalk and Riga at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Co Louth. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daniel Kelly of Dundalk following the UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round 1st Leg match between Dundalk and Riga at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Co Louth. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cormac Byrne

Teams competing in UEFA's lucrative club competitions next season will share a total prize fund of €2.55billion, European football's governing body has confirmed.

Like last season, the Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup are estimated to generate almost €3.25billion in total revenues but UEFA's costs and "solidarity payments" for clubs that fail to reach the group stages will add up to more than €700million.

Those solidarity payments mean Dundalk, St Patrick's Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Cork City have already earned significant sums of money but have huge financial incentives to progress in their respective qualifying rounds.

Dundalk have already pocketed €280,000 for merely competing in the first round of qualifying but will earn €380,000 if they get the better of Riga FC in Latvia following last night's scoreless draw at Oriel Park.

Shamrock Rovers travel to Norway this evening to face SK Brann in the first qualifying round of the Europa League, St Pat's host Sweden’s IFK Norrköping and Luxembourg’s FC Progrès Niederkorn travel to Turner’s Cross.

The trio of Irish clubs have 260,000 reasons to get positive results this evening.

Here's a breakdown of what's on offer:

UEFA Champions League – champions and league paths

Each domestic champion club that does not qualify for the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League group stage will receive €260,000 in addition to the amounts due for participation in each qualifying round.

Each club participating in the qualifying rounds that does not qualify for the UCL play-offs will receive the following amounts per round played:

• preliminary round – €230,000

• first qualifying round – €280,000

• second qualifying round – €380,000

• third qualifying round – €480,000 (only for clubs eliminated from the champions path, since clubs eliminated from the league path qualify directly for the UEFA Europa League group stage and therefore benefit from its distribution system)

• No solidarity payments will be paid in the play-offs as the clubs involved will benefit from the UEFA Champions League/UEFA Europa League centralised phase distribution.

UEFA Europa League – champions and main paths

Each club participating in the qualifying rounds will receive the following amounts per round played:

• preliminary round – €220,000

• first qualifying round – €240,000

• second qualifying round – €260,000

• third qualifying round – €280,000

• play-offs – €300,000 (eliminated clubs only). No solidarity payment will be made to the winners of this round. However, they will retain the payments received for the preliminary, first, second and third qualifying rounds, as applicable.

Should an Irish club qualify for the group stages of either competition, as Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers have done in the past, estimating what they might earn is complicated, as almost half of the prize money is distributed on the basis of a club's performance in Europe over the last decade and how other clubs from the same country fare.

The market pool allocation represents 15 per cent of the total prize fund but is based on even more variables than the performance coefficients, as each club's payment depends on how much money domestic broadcasters have paid UEFA for its rights and how far other teams from their country progress.

Payments in the Europa League are based on the same formulas but are worth significantly less than the equivalent Champions League amounts.

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