Cash Rules Everything Around Me

A while back, Uefa released a report detailing the amount of money earned by teams participating in last season's Champions League. Roma made €26.053.000, precisely ten million of which were premiums for playing and winning games, and the rest, 16.053.000 euro came from Uefa's market pool. Added to that should be all revenue generated from Roma's four home games, the numbers for which have not been released. (Interesting note: Roma's 16 million from the market pool was nearly double that which Barcelona received, and outdid teams like Chelsea, Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool and Arsenal)

As Roma partakes in the Europa League rather than the Champions League this year, it is of utmost interest how much of a difference in income there will be. Especially as Roma's financial model is based on "auto financing", and the absolute need to generate income using European cup play. Below is the list for how game premiums will be given to participants:

1st qualifying round: 90.000 €
2nd qualifying round: 90.000 €
3rd qualifying round: 90.000 €
Playoffs: 90.000 €
Group stage: 1.000.000 €
Group match victory: 140.000 €
Group match draw: 70.000 €
1st knock out round: 200.000 €
2nd knock out round: 300.000 €
Quarter-finals: 400.000 €
Semi-finals: 700.000 €
Final: 2.000.000 €
Winning the final: 1.000.000 €

Despite the near impossibility of a team winning the competition while also winning every single one of its games, that brings the potential prize premium to a total roughly between 6.400.000 and 6.700.000, depending on how many, if any, qualifying rounds the team would play. In comparison, a CL winner with the same record of winning all games can expect 31 million from Uefa in premiums. While the difference is vast, and the ratio of roughly 5:1 still feels like a kick in the head to Roma's CFO Dott.ssa Mazzoleni, this season marks a rather substantial difference compared to Europa League's previous incarnation, the Uefa Cup: then and there the potential was little more than half of what it is today; 3.800.00 euro.

In addition to the prize money from Uefa comes the market pool, which is divided among all teams of a particular federation in Uefa. While clubs generally need domestic rivals to do well in Europe for the country's co-efficients to remain high and grant easier seeds and draws for the own club (Italy is for example in grave danger of being surpassed by Germany, leaving only three Italian CL spots, which will have severe consequences for the teams directly below the top), the market pool system contradicts that directly.

This is how it came to be that PSV Eindhoven - a club that finished dead last in their group, having amassed an embarrassing record of one win and five losses - last season made more money from the CL market pool than any other club in the competition except for Bayern Munich. Both these clubs benefited from the failure of their domestic rivals; had for example Twente and Schalke 04 had more success and qualified for the main competition, the pot would have been split more evenly.

The principle is the same for the Europa League: while it would benefit Roma long term if teams like Genoa and Lazio do well (as well as all four Italian teams in the CL), their success also takes money away from Roma with each round they proceed to.

In total - between premiums, pool money and gate receipts for all home games - Roma can stand to make a respectable sum of money this season, granted certain success. While the main priority should always be to win the trophy for the sake of itself, and not have its meaning devalued by putting money first, a successful competition would go a long way to minimize the damage of losing out on the Champions League.