To be successful in Europe, you have to be adaptable. FC Barcelona experienced a trying and disappointing year in the Champions League last year, with the La Liga champions failing to get out of the group. Not only did this hit the club from a reputational perspective, but it also hit the club financially.
According to a report from GOAL, qualifying for the last-16 of the Champions League netted you €9.6 million last year, so that’s nearly €10 million that Barca missed out on. In our current financial state, that’s a lot of money.
The first key is qualifying for the group, based on last year’s figures that amounts to €15.6 million. For every victory in the group stage, teams were awarded €2.8 million and for every draw it was £930k.
Through their six group games last season, Barcelona managed just 2 wins and 1 draw, which equates to £6.5 million in total, plus the group stage qualifying amount and you have €22.1 million generated through the actual games, not counting gate receipts etc. There are also other payouts for things like coefficiency and broadcasting, but for the games, it was €22.1 million. That’s simply not enough.
Barcelona manager Xavi believes Barca have banished their Champions League ghosts.
Last night Barcelona battled to a 1-0 victory away at Porto, which is almost certainly the most difficult game of the group stage.
With that victory, Xavi believes that some demons have been exercised following last years early exit. Barcelona have a history of winning pretty, but last night they won ugly. It was a heated affair with plenty of fouls, yellow cards and a red card for Gavi. But, Barca came away with the 3 points.
"“Previously there was talk of ghosts, we got rid of them against a historic rival, who pushes. Many things have happened, [There were] many difficulties during the game and with very adverse circumstances. We had to control the game more in the second half, but this is the Champions League. We see with other results that it is very difficult to win, especially away from home.”"
With that victory, they’re a perfect 2/2 in the group stage following their 5-0 thrashing of Royal Antwerp at home. Already this year they’ve generated €21.2 million through qualifying and their victorious start.
With all things considered, they should now go on to qualify for the last 16, and with that, the money starts piling up. Make the quarter-final and it’s €10.6 million, make the semi-final and it’s €12.5 million, make the final and you’re guaranteed €15.5 million, with the Champion taking home €20 million.
If a team were to win every single group game and win the whole competition, there would be €69.8 million up for grabs. An incredible amount of money for anyone, but especially a cash-strapped side like Barcelona.