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Top 10 Football (soccer) tournaments with highest prize money 2024

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Although the World Cup was lucrative in terms of prize money, it only ranked third in the world in terms of the monies available to the participants in 2022 in terms of international sporting events.

 

In any case, that happens only every four years, at least until FIFA president Gianni Infantino gets his way and makes it a biennial event.

 

Infantino, though, has already got his ideas on the most lucrative football tournament in the world, the Champions League, with his recently announced plans to expand the Club World Cup from 2025.

 

Ranking football tournaments with the biggest prize money in the world

 

1. The UEFA Champions League 

 

In 2022, the Champions League had total prize money of US $2.16 billion, of which US just over $90 million went to the winners Real Madrid. The prize pool has seen a dramatic increase in recent years, up from an estimated US $1.6 billion in 2016.

 

In fact, the prize money is just one of the attractions that the teams involved can earn from participating in it.

 

The share of broadcast revenues and sponsorship are considerable, even for teams that fail to get beyond the group stage. No wonder it is the competition that every player in the world wants to play in at some stage in their careers.

 

2. The UEFA Europa League

 

The Europa League is second to the Champions League in every sense of the word, but, although it may not have the glamour of the senior competition, it still ranks highly in terms of prize money, with the total on offer in the 2021/2022 season just short of the US $500 million mark.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt and Glasgow Rangers each got US $5.2 million just for reaching the final in the 2021 – 2022 season. Frankfurt earned almost double that for winning it, and earned an additional US $4.53 million by qualifying for the European Super Cup, the annual match against the winners of the Champions League.

 

And, because they also qualified by right for the Champions League the following year, they earned the major windfall that comes with all that.

 

3. The FIFA Club World Cup

 

The Club World Cup in its current format is not highly regarded by European teams but FIFA have tried to increase its allure by making it lucrative, and it is currently third in terms of prize money when it comes to annual tournaments. Given that it only comprises seven teams at the moment, with US $42 million on offer to the winner, and US $30 million going to the runner-up, it is worth the break in the middle of the season that it represents for most clubs.

 

4. The English Premier League

 

The Premier League and La Liga compete for the most lucrative domestic leagues, although it is generally acknowledged that the English version is the richest in the world, with each place that a team finishes in the league worth US $2.65 million. That means the winner last season Manchester City won about US $185 million in total. Even Norwich City, the team that finished bottom of the league, earned in excess of US $100 million in prize money alone.

 

That is just, again, a fraction of what they can earn from their share of TV rights, both in the UK and overseas.

 

5. The Championship Play-Off Final

 

And it may explain why the annual Championship play-off at Wembley to determine who secures the last promotion spot each season is often described as the richest club game in the world.

 

Not because of the gate money that the two clubs receive, or their share of the media rights, but because of the potential riches on offer to the club that reaches the promised land of the Premier League.

 

A leading consultancy firm has estimated that, if a team gaining promotion via the play-offs can avoid relegation the following season, then winning that game alone could be worth up to US $329 million to them.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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