The rich are getting richer. A new agreement with UEFA will see a boost to the leading teams' income from international competitions. But officials insist that the deal will be good for everyone.
The announcement of the windfall came at the European Club Association (ECA) meeting in Stockholm. Under the agreement, at least 200 million euros ($214 million) from the 2020 European Championships income will go to professional club teams. That compares with a flat fee of 150 million euros from the EURO 2016.
"ECA and UEFA have together developed a revolutionary distribution mechanism for the Champions League and Europa League aimed at sharing ... revenue growth more evenly among European clubs," the two groups said in a joint statement.
The 32 Champions league participants will now split 1.2 billion euros - a signficant jump from 957 million euros from this season, and each team will get a 12 million euro entry payment.
The 48 Europa League clubs will also find their wallets swelling. They'll split 381 million euros and be guaranteed 2.4 million each - compared with 232 million euros and 1.3 million euros this season.
ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge denied that the deal would increase the gap between Europe's top tier and the rest.
"We have something like 220 clubs as members so we have big clubs like Real Madrid, mid-sized clubs like Porto and small clubs coming from Malta, Cyprus and so on," Rummenigge told Reuters news agency.
Yet whether the new deal in fact results in more parity between clubs is anything but certain.
jc/al (AFP, Reuters)