'Champs League winners to net extra €100m'

August 23, 2006

LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The winner of this season's Champions League could earn up to 100 million euros ($130 million) on top of UEFA prize money and tournament gate receipts, a study said on Wednesday.

Increased sponsorship, extra television revenue, higher attendances and inflated player values look set to swell the victorious club's coffers long after they lift the trophy in Athens on May 23.

Ahead of the group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday, KRC Research and Champions League sponsor MasterCard assembled 12 leading football and business experts to estimate the extended windfall for the winning team.

The 100 million euro figure does not include cash awarded to the winners by UEFA. The European governing body says the successful club could receive as much as 40 million euros in prize money, including television revenue but not gate receipts.

It is not just the clubs that benefit from Champions League glory. The study found that the winning team's home city also receives a large cash injection.

The city of Liverpool received an estimated 70 million euro boost last year through increased consumer spending, tourism, sponsorship and commerce after Rafael Benitez's side won the trophy in 2005.

The effect on Barcelona from their 2006 victory has yet to be calculated but the study found that FC Porto's Champions League victory in 2004 brought up to 12 million euros into their city.

Despite the low figure in Porto's case, the research reckoned smaller cities are likely to profit more from having winning clubs than larger places such as London or Milan.