Champions League money soars higher

Steve Dinneen
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CHAMPIONS League revenue has rocketed once again, ensuring the richest teams in the world continue to get even richer.

Liverpool, who were humiliatingly knocked out of the tournament in the group stages this year, received €28.6m (£23.4m) in prize money and TV revenue. When they stunned the footballing world in 2005 by coming from three goals behind to beat AC Milan and lift the trophy they were awarded just €2m more.

The pattern is repeated across the competition, with British teams cashing in despite lack-lustre performances this year. Manchester United raked in €45.8m for reaching the quarter finals. Five years ago they made just €16.3m for reaching the last 16.

The bulk of the cash comes from the bumper deals negotiated with Sky and ITV for the privilege of showing the matches.

It also highlights the gulf in funds between the teams who regularly qualify for the competition – traditionally Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool – and the rest of the Premier League. It also shows the importance of the battle for the fourth Champions League place. The bumper pay-outs look set to continue, with the TV deals agreed by Sky and ITV set to increase by a further 25 per cent between now and 2012.