How do you measure the value of Demba Ba? You could use his market value, which is listed by The Transfermarkt site as €11m. You could use his annual FFP hit, which our WAGNH wage database has at £6.16m, or you could measure his value in terms of his impact on the season. Of course, no player really impacts a game on his own, and no situation would play out exactly the same way were he not there, but sometimes, one player steps up with a contribution which earns his side more than he's worth.
Just before 9:30pm BST on Tuesday night, a roar rattled through West London as Demba Ba stuck out leg to guide Cesar Azpilicueta's deflected shot over Salvatore Sirigu to send Chelsea to their seventh Champions League semi-final in the Abramovich Era. Not only did he keep his side alive, he earned his keep for the year. You see, with one split-second swipe of his left foot, he earned Chelsea a whopping £5.2m in Champions League revenue.
Before we get into the details of just how the Senegalese striker secured that monumental wad of cash, it's probably worth discussing the structure of Champions League payouts. While it's easy to assume it would be based entirely on results and performances, that simply isn't true. The other half of the equation is broadcast revenue. Broadcast revenue is the reason quarterfinalists Juventus, of all clubs, received the largest Champions League payout last season.
English clubs aren't nearly as lucky as Italian ones in terms of Champions League TV money. At least not yet. With BT Sport gaining the UK broadcast rights season after next, the UK market pool is set to rise terrifically. Now, though, it's set at the relatively-modest €73.2m per season, split among four clubs. Half of this money is distributed according to last season's league position, while the other is distributed on the basis of success of a nation's clubs.
In most years, though not the one following our triumph in Munich, the first half is handed out in chunks of forty, thirty, twenty, and ten per cent, based on the respective finishing positions, with the Champions receiving the full forty per cent, and the fourth-place club getting just ten per cent. Following our third-place finish last season, Chelsea are on twenty per cent this season.That's easy enough to understand, but the other half of the TV money picture is where things get complex.
You see, the percentage of the other €36.6m allocation awarded to each club is based on the percentage of the games played by each nation's clubs which were played by any particular club. It's easier thought of as each match played being a raffle ticket of sorts, or a share of the winnings. Last season, English teams had a particularly-bad season in the Champions League, qualifying only two clubs from the group stage and none to the quarter final. This meant that, between them, English clubs played twenty-eight matches in the competition.
As one of the clubs to fall at the Group Stage, Chelsea played just six, meaning they earned six of the twenty-eight "shares", or 21%. As a result of the Champions League victory the previous year, They earned 30% of the first half of the money. That amounted to €10.98m. Added to the €7.69m of the merit money, we get to the €18.67m reported by UEFA itself. The €8.6m and €3.5m are, respectively, the base fee for appearing in the Group Stage, and the award for winning three matches and drawing one match.
Interestingly, this season's much-more successful Champions League campaign is unlikely to be much more lucrative for Chelsea, at least from a TV money perspective. England qualified all four teams from the group stage, with two reaching the quarter final, and one still alive. All told, the same €36.6m pool will end up split either 38 or 39 times, depending on the Blues' fate in the coming tie. As you might expect, this means each "share" is worth "just" €963k each, compared to €1.3m last season.
This loss of value isn't, by itself, the cause of Chelsea's relatively-flat earnings. Their cut will be either 31.6% or 33.3%, which is up from 21%, but their cut of the other half is down from 30% to 20%. With only one more possible match for both England and Chelsea, there are only two possibilities for revenue totals. €18.88m and €19.84m. This is where part of the prize for Demba Ba's goal comes in. Had both Chelsea and Manchester United gone out this week, our TV take would have been €17.49m, a difference of €1.39m.
Of course, this is but one piece of the revenue puzzle. There is prize money involved. Thankfully, there's no requirement for a Ph.D. in quantum physics to understand it. It's simply €4.9m. Added to the earlier total, we get nearly €6.2m, which is approximately the £5.2m from the title of the piece. It's not quite enough to pay for the entire year of employing Demba Ba. There's roughly £1m of FFP liability left over, but that's hardly too much for a man with 6 goals in 23 appearances, and 3 in 4 in Europe.
Now that we've looked at the financial impact of Demba Ba's goal, let's look at what the future holds in store for us. Obviously, there's no guarantee of reaching the final in Lisbon, but even if we don't, we'll earn €12.30m in knock-out stage bonuses in addition to the €18.88m in TV money, €8.6m Base fee, and €4m in bonuses for winning four group stage matches. Add that all up, and you get a grand total of €43.78m, or £36.18m in old money.
Should we get through the next tie and reach our third Champions League Final, Chelsea will earn another €6.5m as a Final bonus, and €640k in additional TV money. If we add those to our previous total, we get €50.92m or £42m. Should we repeat our heroics of 2012 and win a second European Cup, we'll earn, besides the glory and sponsorship from winning it, an extra €4m, for a maximum total of €54.92m or £45.39m.
There we have our three remaining financial outcomes. We haven't had the best of seasons this year, and, despite appearances, it's still one of transition. This time eight months ago, I'm not sure any of us would have turned down a guaranteed £36m and another semi final. When you get down to it, £36m isn't bad money. It's most or all of a top-tier striker. We've been in the midst of a heavy transition for three seasons now, and, yet, we've managed to earn well more than £100m from European competition. Oh, and we also won a couple of trophies. I don't know if you've heard.