Champions League money has always provided a serious financial boost to qualifying clubs, so much so that certain managers have compared finishing fourth to winning an actual trophy. That 'trophy' is about to get a lot bigger, as BT's new television deal kicks in next season, and much of that money will end up back in the hands of clubs participating in Europe's showpiece tournament.
Across the board, prize money and television shares look set to increase by about 50%, meaning the eventual winner will be collecting over 100 million before taking commercial revenues and gate receipts into account*. Europa League cubs will also see their potential winning increase, though the gulf in potential prize money between the two tournaments continues to increase.
For Chelsea, qualifying looks to be a mere formality at this point, as only 12 points are necessary to ensure they finish above Liverpool (currently fifth) this season. Instead, the Blues will be looking to benefit by winning the Premier League title, thus ensuring that they take the largest portion of the market share.
While finishing fourth in the Premier League still won't get you a trophy, now it will buy you an even bigger, empty trophy case.