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Chelsea top UEFA prize money list with $126m last season

By GRAHAM DUNBAR

GENEVA (AP) — Champions League winner Chelsea earned nearly 120 million euros ($126.5 million) from UEFA last season, surpassing the cash prize list for European clubs published on Wednesday.

That was just ahead of beaten runners-up Manchester City, who received just over 119 million euros ($125.6 million) out of a total fund of nearly 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion ) shared by all 32 Champions League clubs. That total has risen to more than 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) for the current season and the next two.

Semi-finalists Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain each received almost €110m ($116m), the only other clubs to earn a nine-figure sum from UEFA.

Chelsea’s total was at least 35 million euros ($37 million) more than Barcelona and Juventus, who lost in the round of 16 and then contributed to the failed attempt to launch a Super League, designed to be more lucrative for the top clubs.

Barcelona and Juventus were the main leaders in the project which saw 12 elite clubs attempt to break away from UEFA control to create their own competition.

UEFA’s list shows Barcelona earned less than €85m ($90m) and Juventus less than €83m ($88m).

Barcelona, ​​Juventus and Madrid are still pursuing legal action against UEFA at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The other nine Super League members, including Chelsea and Man City, quickly backed out of the project amid a violent public backlash, leading to its collapse within 48 hours.

The lowest payment to a Champions League club was €18.45 million ($19.5 million) for Hungarian champion Ferencváros, who lost five of their six group stage matches.

Ferencváros received just 1.1 million euros ($1.16 million) from UEFA’s 585 million euro ($618 million) fund rewarding clubs for their historic record in European competitions . In contrast, 13-time European champions Real Madrid received 35.5 million euros ($37.5 million) from this fund.

These “coefficient” payments started in 2018 after pressure was put on UEFA by the European Club Association, which was then heavily influenced by clubs who then tried to create the Super League.

The wealth gap between the Champions League and the second-tier Europa League was once again clear. The Europa League prize fund for clubs was €541m ($571m), about 28% of the Champions League sum.

Europa League winner Villarreal received 33.1 million euros ($35 million) and the team he beat in the semi-finals, Arsenal, earned just under 30 million euros ($31.6 million).

Manchester United, who lost the Europa League final after finishing third in their Champions League group, received a total of 79.6 million euros ($83.6 million) from the two competitions .

From the Champions League fund, €8m ($8.4m) went to the ECA, which represents nearly 250 clubs that play in UEFA competitions.

Each club has had around 5% of their prize money deducted as part of a five-year deal with UEFA to reimburse broadcasters and UEFA sponsors for disruptions to the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season. pandemic.

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