How much Liverpool can earn from the Europa League as new reality emerges

Liverpool begin their Europa League campaign in Austria against laskBlood Red: Liverpool Training Report | Reds Prepare for LASK Europa League TestFor the first time in seven years, Liverpool will take their place in European football’s second tier knockout club competition this week.

Having missed out on the top four and Champions League football last season by virtue of their fifth-placed finish in the Premier League, Liverpool will face a European adventure of a different kind for the 2023/24 season, one that they will hope will end in success but one that they will be aiming lasts just the one campaign.

For Liverpool, Champions League football has become an increasingly important part of their business in recent years.
The rise of the club under the stewardship of manager Jurgen Klopp has seen the club catapult itself back among the game’s elite, with a Champions League win in 2019 and final appearances in 2018 and 2022 solidifying their position as one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

But last season’s on-pitch struggles mean that for this season at least they will have to take their place in the Europa League, with the Reds taking on Austrian side LASK at the Raiffeisen Arena tonight.
It will mark the beginning of a journey that could deliver significant revenues in the tens of millions for the Reds, but revenues that are dwarfed by what they could have been earning in the Champions League, a competition that has delivered more than £100m per year for the club on several occasions in recent years through prize money, their share of the TV money and matchday revenues.

UEFA, European football’s governing body, distributes its net annual revenue among the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League. For the 2023/24 season the net revenue is set to be around €2.73bn (£2.36bn), with €2.03bn (£1.75bn) of that for distribution among Champions League clubs and clubs competing in the UEFA Super Cup, €465m (£402m) to clubs competing in the Europa League and €235m (£203.1m) to those in the Conference League.

Each of the 32 clubs that qualify for the group stage can expect to receive a group stage allocation of €3.63m (£3.14m), split into a down-payment of €3.4m (£2.94m) and a balance payment of €230,000 (£199,000). On top of that, group stage performance bonuses will be paid for each match at €630,000 (£544,500) per win and €210,000 (£181,500) per draw. Undistributed amounts (£181,500 per draw) will be pooled and redistributed among the clubs playing in the group stage in amounts proportional to their number of wins.

The group winners can expect to receive a qualification bonus of €1.1m (£950,000) each and the group runners-up €550,000 (£475,400) each. For the rounds following the group stage, qualification for the round of 16 brings with it a sum of €1.2m (£1.04m), with the quarter-finals delivering €1.8m (£1.56m), the semi-finals €2.8m (£2.42m) and the final €4.6m (£4m), with the winners of the competition receiving an additional €4m (£3.46m).

There is then the UEFA coefficient to be considered. On the basis of the ten-year ranking, a ranking of the participating clubs has been established, and the total amount of €69.75m (£59.4m) has been divided into ‘coefficient shares’, each worth €132,000 (£114,100), with the lowest ranked team receiving one share (£114,100).
One share will be added to every rank and so the highest-ranked team will receive 32 shares (€4.22m (£3.65m). Of all the competing teams in this year’s Europa League it is Liverpool who boast the highest coefficient due to their performances in European competition in recent seasons.
The Reds rank eighth out of all European clubs over the past decade, behind only Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

There is more money to be made via the TV market pool, with this year’s fund standing at €139.5m (£120.6m). That sum will be distributed according to the proportional value of each TV market represented by the clubs taking part in the Europa League from the group stage onwards. The different market shares will be split among the clubs participating from a given association, with 21 nations represented in the group stage.

The TV market pool is split, with the first half based on position on the previous season’s domestic performance, while the second half is based on progress in the current season’s Europa League competition. When West Ham United reached the semi-final of the Europa League in 2021/22 after finishing sixth in the Premier League the season before, according to figures the Hammers earned around €17.4m (£15m) from the TV market pool.
That season there were two competitors from England, but with West Ham winning last season’s Conference League there will be three Premier League clubs, diluting the percentage, although that will only be from the knockout stages onwards as Conference League winners do not get a share of the first half of the TV market pool money.

The domestic cup (FA Cup) winners usually receive the largest slice of the market pool, but with Manchester City winning that competition and having already qualified for the Champions League, there will be an even split between Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion for the first half of the market pool. Liverpool, should they enjoy a run to the final, would likely bank between £15m and £17m from the TV market pool, a not insignificant sum.

There is then the potential for additional matchday revenue that is created by the possibility of playing six home games at Anfield en route to a final. With a full house, which will be up to 61,000 before the end of the year, delivering around £4.2m per game last season, using those figures this time around, allowing for both the reduction and increase in capacity along the Europa League journey, the Reds could deliver around £25m in additional matchday revenue.

Totting up all the potential revenue that could arise from a run to the final, and victory at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Liverpool could make as much as £62m if they were to enjoy a flawless Europa League campaign this season. That is a sum that falls some way short of what they have been enjoying on more than one occasion with the Champions League. To take out the matchday revenue and look solely at the money associated with competing, it will be around £60m less than what the Champions League has delivered.

But the carrot is very much there for success, one that could provide a springboard to a far more lucrative 2024/25 season when Liverpool will be expecting to be back among the elite once again.

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