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The prize money that Real Madrid or Barcelona can earn for qualifying for the Copa del Rey final

Real Madrid host Barcelona in the semi-finals on Thursday in the first of three Clásicos between now and the end of the season.

Real Madrid host Barcelona in the semi-finals on Thursday in the first of three Clásicos between now and the end of the season

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic are the last four left standing in the Copa del Rey. Assuming we’re not counting the Spanish Super Cup – won in January by Barcelona – as a ‘major’ trophy (whether we should or not is perhaps up for debate), the first ‘major’ trophy of the season is up for grabs. And for Madrid and Barcelona, who play the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday 2 March, it’s not only the chance to get one over on their rivals in the cup, but it’s also an opportunity to gain a psychological edge as the LaLiga title race enters its final stages.

A (very) big, shiny trophy is up for grabs in the Copa del Rey, of course, along with some prize money which, it should be said, is relatively modest if you compare if with some of soccer’s other leading competitions.

How much do clubs receive for reaching the final or winning the competition?

It seems like it should be a simple question but, if you know anything about the organisation of Spanish soccer, you won’t be surprised to hear that there’s a rather complicated answer. It makes giving an exact figure all but impossible, but we should be able to make a decent guess.

Real Betis won the Copa del Rey in 2021-22.
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Real Betis won the Copa del Rey in 2021-22.PABLO GARCIA / RFEFDiarioAS

How much does the Copa del Rey generate in TV revenue?

The Copa del Rey prize money depends on the competition’s TV revenue, which is just under €33 million per year, as things stand. A Spanish law (Article 8 of Real Decreto Ley 5/2015, in case you’re interested) then stipulates what percentage of the total revenue clubs earn for participating in the competition (which depends on the league they play in) and the bonuses they can receive based on performance.

According to that law, 90% of the €33 million total revenue (€29.7 million) is allocated to professional clubs in Spain, with the remaining 10% (€3.3 million) going to the promotion of grassroots and amateur clubs, as well as non-professional clubs taking part in the Copa del Rey.

Similarly, 90% of the €29.7 million allocated to professional clubs (€26.73 million) ends up in the hands of LaLiga Santander clubs, compared to just 10% for those in LaLiga Smartbank (€2.97 million).

How much do clubs earn for taking part?

Half of the €26.73 million is then distributed evenly amongst the 20 clubs in LaLiga Santander, which means each of them is guaranteed around €668,250 just for taking part in the Copa del Rey.

How does performance-related prize money work?

The remaining 50% (€13.365 million) is performance-related. However, rather than be based on one edition of the competition, it takes into account how far each club has progressed in each of the last five seasons. Those €13.365 million are divided by five (€2.673 million) and clubs then receive a certain percentage of that new figure depending on how far they get in the competition (last 16: 2.5%, quarter-finals: 6%, semi-finals: 9%, runners-up: 16%, winners: 22%).

Real Madrid haven't won the Copa del Rey since 2014.
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Real Madrid haven't won the Copa del Rey since 2014. DANI POZODiarioAS

If a club had won the Copa del Rey for five years in a row (which has never happened), they would receive 22% of the performance-related prize money (€588,060) for winning it in the last year, while a club who had lost in the final of the competition for a fifth year in a row would take home €427,680 in the fifth year. On top of the €668,250 for taking part, those are the approximate amounts clubs will make for reaching the different stages of the competition, although the figures have to be adjusted slightly to take into account performances in the previous four seasons. To put it simply, the better you’ve done, the more you can earn.

When are the Copa del Rey semi-finals?

First legs

Wednesday 1 March 2023: Osasuna vs Athletic Club (kick-off at 3pm ET)

Thursday 2 March 2023: Real Madrid vs Barcelona (kick-off at 3pm ET)

Second legs

Tuesday 4 April 2023: Athletic Club vs Osasuna (kick-off at 3pm ET)

Wednesday 5 April 2023: Barcelona vs Real Madrid (kick-off at 3pm ET)