It is well known that popular football tournaments around the globe generate huge revenue and income. However, only a few of the prestigious tournaments have mouthwatering prize pools. In this article, we will look at the list of top five football competitions with the highest prize money and prize pool.
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The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) organises an annual club football competition known as the Champions League. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Subsequently, it is the most prestigious club competition in European football. The UEFA Champions League is the highest paying sports event in the world, beating the World's biggest event (The FIFA World Cup) by far. UCL has an average prize pool of $1.3 billion which may vary every season. $1.3 billion was the prize pool in 2016. Meanwhile, the winners Real Madrid of the 2016 season took home $75 million in prize money. However, this is not a fixed prize pool and it may change every year.
The Fifa World Cup is the biggest event in the world. The current format involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase. However, qualifying host nation(s) automatically qualify for the tournament. In the tournament phase, 32 teams compete for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over about a month. The total prize pool is around $576 million and the winning nation bags around $35m for their performance.
The Euro is one of the best continental football competitions in the world. It is also the most popular continental championship and arguably the toughest one too. Therefore the teams also get a hefty amount of prize money and the prize pool is also getting bigger every season. UEFA announced that there would be a significant increase in the prize money pool which has been finalized after the Euro 2016 group stage draw. In the same vein, the UEFA confirmed that the total prize money pool will be around €301 million which will be distributed among 24 national teams. That is a more than a 50% increase in the previous prize money pool of €194 million awarded back in 2012 in Poland/Ukraine.
The Euro 2020 had a price pool of around €371 million. The 24 qualifiers for Euro 2020 will share record all-out prize cash of €371 million, a significant increment from the last European Championship. Each contending country will get €9.25 million just for participating. In addition to it a further €1.5 million for every success in the gathering stage and €750,000 for a draw. There will be further prize cash for arriving at each round in the knockout stage. This means the victor will stash €20.25 million over profit from the gathering stage. Finally, the champions are awarded €8 million, and the max potential earning can go up to €34 million.
The UEFA Europa League is also a very popular football competition. However, it may not generate the same revenue as its counterpart the UCL, but generates a significant amount of income. Europe's 2nd tier clubs get a shot at becoming the European champions. However, the teams which are handed an early exit from the UCL gets a second chance for the European Silverware at the Europa League. There is no fixed prize pool as it changes every year. However, the total prize pool in 2014 was $237m. Moreover, the 2014 winners Sevilla got $16.4m as prize money.
The current format of the tournament involves seven teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about two weeks. The winners of that year's AFC Champions League (Asia), CAF Champions League (Africa), CONCACAF Champions League (North America), Copa Libertadores (South America), OFC Champions League (Oceania) and UEFA Champions League (Europe), along with the host nation's national champions, participate in a straight knock-out tournament. The host nation's national champions contest a play-off against the Oceania champions, from which the winner joins the champions of Asia, Africa and North America in the quarter-finals. The quarter-final winners go on to face the European and South American champions, who enter at the semi-final stage, for a place in the final. The total prize pool features around $28m and the winning team roughly bags around $7m.
Although the different football competitions have different prize money, the trophy of a particular football competition carries a high value within itself. Below is an image displaying the most valuable football trophies in Euros.