Belfast Telegraph

Financial cost of Tottenham not getting through to last 16 is huge, says expert

Tottenham will have to win the Europa League to make up the shortfall from failing to reach the Champions League last 16, according to a leading football finance expert.

Spurs will drop into the last 32 of the Europa League after Wednesday's 3-1 victory over CSKA Moscow ensured they finished third in Group E.

And the cost of failing to progress to the Champions League knock-out round in terms of UEFA's prize and television money stands at between 20 and 30million euros.

To make that up in the Europa League, Tottenham are likely to have to win the tournament, which will mean Mauricio Pochettino's men overcoming five gruelling rounds and nine ties overall.

Spurs are set to earn around 36million euros from the Champions League group stage, which includes 20million euros in television money, a 12million euros participation fee and 3.5million euros for registering two wins and a draw.

It already amounts to 15million euros more than what they earned in the Europa League last season.

But if they had qualified for the Champions League knock-outs, they would have pocketed almost 20million euros on top and around 30million euros extra had they been handed a blockbuster draw.

Tottenham's 36million euros earned from the Champions League groups therefore looks light when compared to last year when Chelsea, who lost to Paris St Germain in the last 16, made 69million euros, while Arsenal took 53million euros after losing to Barcelona at the same stage.

It means Pochettino's side are now likely to have to win the Europa League, where they have never gone past the quarter-finals, to pocket the same figure as from playing one extra round in the Champions League.

If Spurs are crowned Europa League champions in May they could expect to earn a total of 56million euros, including the 10.3million euros winners' bonus, around 10million euros in television money, in addition to the 36million euros already earned from the Champions League group stage.

"The financial cost of Tottenham not getting through to the last 16 is huge," said Rob Wilson, football finance expert at Sheffield Hallam University.

"There are some unknowns, like who they would have drawn in the Champions League last 16, but based on last year's figures even a conservative estimate suggests they have lost out on around 20million euros by going out, and that figure would be more like 30million euros if they had drawn a top team.

"To make that up in the Europa League, where the financial rewards are still so much less, Spurs will have to win the tournament."

Pochettino insists he will give full attention to the Europa League when it restarts in February but the combination of the additional knock-out round and Thursday night fixtures could take its toll on Tottenham's domestic ambitions.

Last season, Pochettino fielded strong line-ups in the tournament until the last 16 in March, when Spurs' Premier League title challenge assumed top priority and a weakened side were blown away by Borussia Dortmund.

Jan Vertonghen believes challenging on both fronts is possible.

"I believe we can win the Europa League, I think we can," Vertonghen said. "Maybe Champions League experience will help. We are very hungry to win trophies.

"It's a shame it's not in the Champions League this year but we are one of the better teams in the Europa League and now we have to show it."

Goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane, as well as an own-goal from goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev gave Tottenham a comfortable victory over CSKA and ended the club's six-game losing streak at Wembley.

The win, coming on the back of last weekend's 5-0 thrashing of Swansea, has also given Spurs some momentum ahead of their crunch trip to Manchester United on Sunday.

"It does feel like we're turning a corner," Alli said.

"Every team goes through a spell where their form drops a bit. I think we've gone through that and we're now coming back stronger."


From Belfast Telegraph