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Champions League worth €50m more than Europa League for Chelsea

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Thursdays are the worst, as they say

FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Liverpool have become the first team in history to earn over a quarter billion (that’s billion with a B) in TV and prize money in a season, after not only winning the Champions League but also collecting the most money from the Premier League. Meanwhile, Chelsea missed out on at least €50m in revenue by being stuck in the Europa League rather than playing with the big boys on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Those are some of the latest findings from the essential and incomparable @SwissRamble, who’s a must-follow on Twitter if you’re at all interested in this side of the professional game (and with ever-greater financial demands placed on the top teams, we all probably need to be interested).

That whole thread is worth exploring, certainly, but let us just jump to the summary.

Liverpool earned just a little over £150m from the Premier League’s incomprehensibly massive TV deals, and added almost £100m to that from UEFA as well. There are a number of factors that helped them earned more than all the other English teams including the most live Premier League matches (29 vs. 27 for United, 26 for City and Spurs, 25 for Chelsea and Arsenal) and UEFA adding a variable component to the revenue based on historic coefficient (i.e. more consistently successful teams get more money consistently). The rich always get richer in professional sports.

The difference in European prize money is staggering. Chelsea earned less than half (€39m) for winning the Europa League than what Manchester United collected (€83m) for getting blown out in the Champions League quarterfinals by Barcelona. In fact, Chelsea earned more last season (€58m) for (also) losing to Barcelona in the first knockout round, even!

With UEFA increasing Champions League revenues by over 50 per cent for this past season (and only increasing Europa League revenues by 40 per cent), Chelsea have missed out on about €50m in revenue by finishing fifth.

Or, on the the more positive flip-side, we earned €50m for finishing in the top four.