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Pan-European Cups

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Champions League penalties for players

Arsenal players will lose out on bonuses worth about £5m if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. The club pays out £200,000 per player if it reaches the group stage, although that is not evenly split.  The competition was worth about £46m in payments from Uefa last season, while the club also made money from matchday income.

Champions League counts for less financially

Arsene Wenger argued in a weekend interview that the Champions League counts for less than it used to financially.  He said, 'financially the Champions League does not have the impact any more that it had five or six years ago because of the influx of television money.'

Why, then, are teams competing so intensely for a top four place?   In part it's a matter of prestige.  A Champions League place also helps to attract and retain top players.   But, on the downside, one needs a larger and higher quality squad which wipes out a lot of the financial benefits.

Big spending does not always guarantee success

Using a KMPG database, the Financial Times has analysed the accounts of 69 clubs over four seasons. The results reveal that big spending does not always guarantee success.

Television rights market starts to cool

The football television rights market may have reached its peak, at least domestically, although overseas deals could continue to contribute increasing revenues, making up a growing share of the total.

An underlying driver is that fans are starting to watch football in a different way.   The market is starting to fragment with less commitment to watching the whole game.   Younger fans in particular are watching on their mobiles in shorter bursts.

City are biggest European earners

Manchester City were the biggest earners from Champions League prize money in Europe last season even though they did not make it to the final.   Uefa figures showed that City earned €83.9m, €3.8m more than the winners Real Madrid and €14m more than defeated finalists Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea and Arsenal who reached the round of 16 earned €69m and €53m respectively.    Chelsea benefitted from the fact that half of the market pool money is based on the previous season's domestic league position. Manchester United, who exited at the group stage, earned €38m.

Champions League changes a price worth paying

Arsene Wenger thinks that changes to the Champions League that will stop Arsenal and other Premier League clubs receiving as much money as they have in the past from the competition is a price worth paying to stop a breakaway league.

Real Madrid and Juventus are thought to have been the driving forces behind the changes.   As part of China's project to secure a dominant position in world football, a Chinese conglomerate is trying to set up a rival competition.

Spanish football boss backs Chinese Champions League rival

The head of Spain's La Liga has come out in support of plans by China's richest man to launch a rival to the Champions League.  Dalian Wanda Group, the property and entertainment conglomerate run by billionaire Wang Jialin, wants to create a tournament for Europe's top clubs.  Javier Tebas said there was a 'greater opportunity to generate more revenue' under the breakaway plans.

City could lose out on Champions League money

Manchester City were the biggest earners of any club in the Champions League last season, collecting about £63m in television and performance money, despite losing to Real Madrid in the semi-finals. However, rule changes agreed by Uefa and the European Clubs Association (ECA) could benefit the red side of Manchester.

Power grab by top European clubs

Uefa will guarantee more places for clubs from Europe's top football leagues in the Champions League, in a power shift towards the wealthiest teams.  The move, which follows threats from rich clubs to create a breakaway competition, will ensure more places for teams from Europe's largest television markets, but to the detriment of smaller nations.

China to the rescue of Italian football

Italy has long been seen as the European nation that represents style, and that was also true of Italian football.  However, that image has been tarnished by decaying infrastructure in Italian cities and corruption ridden public services.  There seems to be no viable political solution.

At one time left-wing academics praised the Italian state holding enterprises that had been left over from Mussolini.   Then they discovered the 'Third Italy' of networked small firms producing luxury goods, but even that aspect of the economy was not quite what it appeared to be.