• Deloitte’s Sports Business Group has assessed the financial performance of the eight clubs in this year’s UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and the implications for next year’s edition of the Deloitte Football Money League;
  • The eight clubs participating in the Champions League quarter-finals generated total revenue of €3.5 billion in 2017/18;
  • FC Barcelona versus Manchester United is the richest tie in the history of UEFA competition, with the clubs generating combined revenue of almost €1.4 billion.

The remaining eight clubs in the UEFA Champions League generated total revenue of €3.5 billion in 2017/18, according to Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. With the quarter-finals of this year’s competition kicking off on Tuesday 9 April, analysis from the latest Deloitte Football Money League report highlights the impact that strong performance in UEFA’s flagship competition can have on a club’s finances.

A stand-out tie from this year’s draw is FC Barcelona versus Manchester United, clubs placed second and third respectively in this year’s Money League. In 2017/18, combined revenue of the two clubs reached almost €1.4 billion, making this a record revenue fixture in UEFA competition.

For the first time since the 2008/09 season, the quarter-finals include four Premier League teams, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur generating 63% (€2.2 billion) of the quarterfinalists’ total revenue. The all-Premier League tie between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur has a combined revenue of €1 billion. Spurs’ successful Champions League run may see them improve on their current and highest-ever Money League position of tenth.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Real Madrid generated the highest revenues in world club football last season, and have dominated UEFA’s flagship competition in recent years. However, Real’s elimination from this year’s Champions League prior to the quarter-finals provides Barca and United with the perfect opportunity to close the financial gap at the top of next year’s Money League.

“Participating and progressing in the Champions League delivers significant revenue benefits in terms of UEFA distributions and matchday revenue, and sustained success on the pitch is also likely to translate into commercial revenue growth over time. This is the first year of a new set of broadcasting arrangements and distribution mechanism for UEFA. Quarter-finalists have already earned a minimum distribution from UEFA in excess of €60m, and the team that lifts the trophy, and possibly others, will generate in excess of €100m in central distributions alone.”

Deloitte’s analysis also shows that Arsenal’s Europa League fixture with Napoli has a combined revenue of €622m, greater than the two other fixtures in the Champions League quarter-finals, Liverpool versus Porto (€619.5m) and Juventus versus Ajax (€486.8m). Porto have never been in the Money League top 20, whilst Ajax have only made the ranking on one occasion, in relation to the 1996/97 season when they reached the Champions League semi-final.

Sam Boor, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “Porto and Ajax have made it to the Champions League quarter-finals despite ranking outside this year’s Money League top 30 demonstrating that, fortunately, on-pitch success is not always dictated by money.”