Every team's a 7.2 million-euro winner
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The 32 Champions League teams taking part this season will each receive a minimum of 7.2 million euros just for participating, said European football governing body UEFA, 100,000 euros more each than last year.
REUTERS - The 32 Champions League teams will receive a minimum of 7.2 million euros ($9.36 million) each for taking part this season, a slight increase on last term, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Tuesday.
The eventual winners are guaranteed 26.7 million euros, UEFA added, even before bonus money for winning group games and a share of the television pool money is added.
Last season, a total of 746.4 million euros was handed out among the Champions League participants with winners Inter Milan receiving 48.76 million euros, including 19.6 million from the television marketing pool.
UEFA has long faced criticism that the prize money distorts domestic leagues, where the financial division between teams which regularly take part in the Champions League and those who do not grows every year.
UEFA said in a statement that teams would be paid a "participation bonus" of 3.9 million euros for the group stage, plus a "match bonus" of 550,000 euros for each of the six group games.
This would guarantee the total of 7.2 million for the group stage, compared to 7.1 million euros paid last season. Teams would also be entitled to so-called performance bonuses of 800,000 euros for every win and 400,000 euros for a draw.
Teams going further would receive 3 million euros for advancing to the round of 16, 3.3 million for reaching the quarter-finals and 4.2 million for a semi-final place. "The winners of the final at Wembley Stadium on May 28 will collect a further 9 million euros, with 5.6 million euros going to the runners-up," UEFA said.
"In addition, participating clubs will be entitled to a share of the market pool based on the commercial value of their domestic television market, the number of Champions League matches they play this season and their final position in the domestic league table last term," it added.
"They will also keep their UEFA Champions League gate receipts." The figures are almost the same as last season, apart from small increases in the basic prize money for the semi-finalists and runners-up.
The 20 teams who took part in the fourth qualifying round last month each took home 2.1 million euros.