It is the pinnacle of European football, synonymous with the history of the club, but Liverpool face the very real prospect of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The Reds’ stuttering form sees them sit sixth in the Premier League ahead of their 12 remaining fixtures, and failure to replicate last season’s heroics has put Champions League qualification at risk.
Naturally, missing out on a top-four place will be a major blow from a footballing perspective, but it could also have a knock-on effect on the club’s finances heading into the 2023/24 campaign.
Based on the figures for the 2022/23 competition, Liverpool would stand to lose £15.64 million from simply participating in next season’s Champions League.
Naturally, that figure would increase if Liverpool were to progress through the stages of the competition – winning each group game is worth £2.8 million, while a draw earns £930,000.
Despite crashing out to Real Madrid in the last 16 stage, Liverpool banked approximately £26.4 million from their 2022/23 Champions League run.
The winners of this season’s tournament could win up to £85.1 million in performance fees.
This demonstrates the scale of potential earnings that can be made from a Champions League campaign, and highlights what could potentially be lost by dropping out of the top four for the first time since 2016.
It will come as no surprise that the vast majority of money circulating within UEFA club competitions is distributed to Champions League clubs.
Prize money in the Champions League is approximately 3.6 times greater than in the Europa League, and 5.5 times more than in the Europa Conference League.
The excellent Swiss Ramble presented the disparities between the competitions for the 2022/23 seasons in a Twitter thread back in November, as well as detailing the increase in revenue as teams progress through the different stages.
Champions League overall prize money is 3.6 times the Europa League and 5.5 times the Europa Conference, but this varies by round. In general, the difference becomes smaller the further a club progresses, e.g. last 16 it’s 8x and 16x, while for the winners it’s only 2.3x and 4x. pic.twitter.com/SiENLdb2sI
— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) November 4, 2022
Should Liverpool find themselves in the second or third tier of UEFA’s club competitions next season, their income from European football will drop drastically irrespective of how successful they are.
If Liverpool were to match their 2022/23 Champions League run in next season’s Europa League, the club would take home just £6.6 million in prize money, dropping to £4.6 million in the Europa Conference League.
The maximum financial reward from Europa League performance, which would involve going all the way and winning the competition, is £23.4 million.
The winner of the Europa Conference League would pick up just £15.5 million in prize money, less than the Champions League‘s participation figure alone.
That is not to mention the considerable losses in matchday and TV revenue, along with potential ramifications with sponsors and, most importantly, in the transfer market.
Liverpool are still in with a chance of finishing in the top four of the Premier League, and it could be argued that exiting this season’s Champions League can now steel their focus.
If they don’t manage to do so, they could be forced to revise their plans for this summer and beyond.