After Chelsea’s failure to beat a 10-man Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday left it looking increasingly likely that the Premier League will have a representative in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, English clubs’ deficiencies in Europe have once again been thrown under the spotlight.
English clubs have not only been made to appear unimaginative and technically deficient in comparison to their neighbours on the continent, but they have also been left with diminishing returns when it comes to the percentage of money they make from the Champions League competition.
Between the 2006/07 and 2008/09 seasons, England provided 11 of the 24 teams in the competition’s last eight and their take from its prize money pot reflected this relative dominance.
In each of those three seasons Premier League clubs took home over 20 per cent of the competition’s total prize money. On only one occasion since (the 2010/2011 when three teams reached the quarter-finals stage and Manchester United reached the final) has the feat been repeated.
The Premier League representatives’ European recent struggles are demonstrated in the erosion of its once domineering Uefa coefficient lead over Germany.
When England last topped Uefa's coefficient ranking or club competitions (the measure Europe's football association uses to allocate the number of spots afforded to each domestic league in European competition) in the 2011/2012 season England had a nine point lead over Germany – that has since been cut to just one.
In fact, in the last three seasons including the current campaign England's clubs have amassed nine points fewer than Spain, one less than Germany and just three more than Italy. In that time period only Chelsea sit in Uefa's top 10 for coefficient ranking while Manchester City and Manchester United are both ranked worse than clubs such as Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke, FC Basel and Benfica.
Although English clubs aren't taking home as big a slice of the prize money these days, the Champions League still remains a lucrative cash cow for Premier League clubs thanks to ever-increasing performance-based rewards and a huge payout thanks to their share of Uefa's huge TV rights deal.
Around 75 per cent of the money raised from media rights sold by Uefa is distributed back to the clubs. Despite their struggles on Tuesday and Wednesday nights the rights to broadcast English clubs in Europe remain valuable to domestic broadcasters – BT paid £897m for three-year rights in 2013.