Champions League

How much money could Barcelona lose for not advancing to the Champions League Knockout stage?

Xavi’s Barcelona face a battle with Benfica for second place in Group E. Failure to make the next round could cost the Catalans a tidy sum in prize money.

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How much money could Barcelona lose for not advancing to the Champions League Knockout stage?

There will be plenty at stake when Barcelona take on Benfica in tonight’s Champions League Matchday 5 clash at Camp Nou. Xavi’s team go into the game second in Group E on 6 points, six behind leaders Bayern Munich (who only need a draw away at Dinamo Kiev to progress to the next round). A Barça victory against Benfica would see them go through as runners-up while a draw or a defeat would leave everything to be resolved on Matchday 6 - an away trip to Munich, a scenario that Xavi will surely want to avoid at all costs.

Barcelona and the prize money for not progressing to the Last 16

Not advancing to the Round of 16 of the Champions League would be a hammer blow to Barcelona. The club is cash-strapped as it is - going as far as they can in the Champions League will bring in prize money they need more than ever and is something the club has budgeted for. If they finish third they would still remain in European competition, joining the Europa League at the Round of 32 stage. But the prize money is nowhere near the same.

Barcelona's situation on Matchday 5

Barcelona have won two and lost two during this season’s Champions League group stage. UEFA hand out 2.8 million euros in prize money for every win and 930,000 euros for a draw throughout the tournament. So Barça can theoretically earn a maximum of 5.6 million euros through results from the remainder of the group stage. That however, means beating Benfica on MD5 and Bayern on MD6. Even if they only win one of those games, they will have done enough to secure a place in the knockout round - and earn the corresponding cash prize.

For making the Last 16 of the tournament, Barcelona would earn 9.6 million euros and the further they go, the more money they can earn. Getting as far as the quarter finals would bring in an additional 10.6 million euros.

The cost of losing

So if Barça are dumped out of the Champions League at the group stage, they stand to lose 9.6 million euros which they would receive for qualifying for the Last 16 plus a figure between 930,000 euros and 5.6 million euros based on their results from the final two group games. In total, they would miss out on a figure between 10.53 million and 15.2 million euros for not securing a place in the knockout round.

It has to be said, Barcelona’s European campaigns ending abruptly has not been a regular sight over the years. During the past two decades, the club has always reached the Last 16 of the competition and on only three occasions have they not made it through to the quarter finals (2004/5, 2006/7 and 2020/21). The last time they failed to advance past the group stage was in the 2000/1 edition when they were just pipped to second place by Leeds United with AC Milan winning the group. It is a low point which Xavi will remember - he was part of Llorenç Serra Ferrer's squad that season and indeed played in the last three group stage games.