Paris St-Germain are projected to receive the most of any club in guaranteed earnings from this season’s Champions League group stages despite never having won the competition.
In independent projections for the revenue distribution for this season, the last of the current Champions League format and calculated in part according to historic performance, PSG are on course to earn £65 million before prize money is taken into account, more than £6.93 million more than the next club – Bayern Munich on £57.6 million.
According to projections by the chartered accountant and sport finance analyst, Chris Weatherspoon, PSG are set to make the largest guaranteed amount of any Champions League club in large part because of their share of what is known as the “market pool” – which relates to each country’s individual Uefa broadcast deal.
All 32 clubs are paid by Uefa a flat starting fee of £13.52 million. They share £260.4 million – 15 per cent of the total - according to the market pool category. The market pool means clubs of the same nation share half of the total Uefa broadcast deal of the territory in which they are based.
The Uefa rights deal to broadcast the Champions League in France is worth £325 million a year for the three seasons from 2021 to 2024, split between Canal+ and Qatar-owned beIN Sports. That deal has considerably boosted the revenue of PSG and has also hugely benefited the second French team to qualify each year – which this season is the relatively small RC Lens.
Lens, who finished second in Ligue 1 last season, have so little European experience that they are ranked 121st by Uefa coefficient, only the eighth highest club in France. Their projected market pool share of £21.9 million is more than half their total £37.5 million guaranteed group stage income. PSG and Lens are first and second place in the 32 clubs when it comes to earners from the market pool category.
Lens’ earnings from the market pool are projected to be around the same as Manchester City, on £13.78 million, and Real Madrid, on £9.27 million, are to get combined.
Sources claim that Canal+ pay more than £260 million to Uefa to have the top picks for the biggest games on French television. The rest comes from the Qatar-owned beIN Sports, and a small amount from a free-to-air broadcaster. The Uefa broadcast deal in France for 2024 to 2027 has been secured exclusively by Canal+ who will pay even more - £416 million a season – and the market pool will be spread between three French clubs, with an extra place for Ligue 1.
The highest in terms of overall guaranteed earnings from among the Premier League clubs are defending champions City on £56 million.
Uefa distributes 30 per cent of annual revenue according to historic performance, on top of the 15 per cent assigned to market pool. In all that is £781 million. The remaining £1.04 billion is divided between £434 million that is split equally between the clubs, and £520 million paid in prize money.
PSG are ranked fourth overall by Uefa for their co-efficient although the club have only reached the Champions League final once in 2020 and, beyond that season, only made it past the quarter-finals on one other occasion.
The huge disparity in guaranteed earnings is likely to see Newcastle United’s payments dwarfed by those of its English rivals, including Arsenal, largely because of the Uefa coefficient payments. The percentage of the total allocated according to the Uefa coefficient and the market pool, will come down 10 per cent to 35 per cent from next season.
Arsenal – back in the Champions League for the first time since 2017 - are projected to get a guaranteed £46.5 million from the group stages, before prize money. Although less than City and Manchester United, Arsenal’s take will be the ninth highest of all club allocations.
Newcastle, who return to the Champions League for the first time since 2002-03, will earn around half of what Arsenal get - just £23.6 million - before prize money payments. Manchester United are projected to have guaranteed earnings of £46.9 million.
As fourth place finishers in last season’s Premier League, Newcastle earn 10 per cent of that half share of the £400 million per year deal agreed with BT Sport, now TNT Sport. That is compared to 40 per cent for champions City, 30 per cent for Arsenal and 20 per cent for Man Utd.
For Newcastle – out of any Uefa competition since they reached the Europa League quarter-finals 10 years ago – it is the Uefa coefficient in which they find themselves most severely punished.
They are currently ranked 79th by Uefa, below the likes of Belgium’s Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and Malmo of Sweden. Arsenal, by virtue of previous European competition performance, are ranked 23rd, Man Utd 7th and City first.
A new agreement has been struck this month by the European Club Association and Uefa over distributions for the next three years starting with the 2024-2025 season. The projected £3.81 billion to be earned annually under the new “Swiss model” format, that will see eight group games rather than six, will be distributed differently.
This season, clubs can earn a further £8.32 million if they make it to the group stages. Making it all the way to the final and winning would earn a total of £45.7 million in prize money.
Meanwhile, Premier League executives assured clubs at their shareholders’ meeting that they remain on course to record TV revenues.
As detailed by Telegraph Sport previously, more matches than ever are being made available for TV in a move that will pack schedules. With around 65 more games out to auction, the latest domestic rights sell off will be split into five packs and sold for the first time over a four-year cycle.
Clubs, who will vote next week over the domestic auction plans after digesting the fine detail, were also told of a record overseas deal struck with Canal+.
The French broadcaster is understood to have offered around a 10 per cent uplift to seal its latest 2025-28 rights deal for France, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.