European leagues call for a fairer share of rising UEFA prize money | Football

GENEVA (AP) — European football officials urged UEFA on Thursday to prevent the wealth gap between clubs from widening as it decides how to distribute billions of euros (dollars) in prize money from 2024.

A group of European leagues held an online meeting with more than 200 clubs and told them that “dramatic changes” are needed when UEFA allocates money from the Champions League and other club competitions, which will be expanded in two years to have more teams and more. games. New competition formats were completed last month.

Total revenue from UEFA club competitions is expected to rise to 5 billion euros ($5.28 billion) in 2024/25 from 3.6 billion euros ($3.8 billion) now, but the European governing body has yet to decide how the money will be divided.

The league group, which represents 37 European professional leagues, is hoping to persuade UEFA to funnel more money into the Europa League and European Conference League prize pools rather than the Champions League. He also wants less money allocated to clubs based on their history in Europe, and a larger cut for the hundreds of top-tier clubs that are ineligible for UEFA competition.

Prize money is currently highly dependent on the Champions League compared to lower ranked competitions.

The 32 Champions League teams currently share more than €2bn ($2.1bn) each season, averaging €62.5m ($66m) each. Europa League clubs receive an average of €14.5m ($15.3m) each from a total fund of €465m ($490m).

This gap will become even wider if the same model is maintained in 2024, European leagues have said.

Leagues have long warned UEFA against a wealth gap that could also lead to an imbalance in their own competitions.

European leagues have usually struggled to compete for influence in UEFA with the European Club Association, which is dominated by a group of wealthy clubs with legends. Some of these clubs have joined the Super League splinter project that failed last year.

A Manchester United official echoed the group’s view on Thursday in Amsterdam, suggesting that the Champions League is boosting revenue paid by broadcasters and sponsors.

“We all know where value is created, let’s not kid ourselves,” United chief financial officer Cliff Batey said, stressing that it was “at the top.”

Baty, whose club will play in the Europa League next season, said the UEFA prize money model provides the financial stability that the football industry needs.

“If you take that away, volatility will increase,” he said.

A total of 96 clubs currently qualify for the group stages of the three tournaments, each playing at least six games.

From 2024, the total number of clubs will rise to 108, with eight games guaranteed for teams in the Champions League and Europa League.

UEFA has stated that it does not have an agreed timetable for negotiations with clubs and leagues on the distribution of prize money for the 2024/25 season.

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