Does Milan want to participate in the Europa League? Most fans and some writers view the competition as unworthy and that attitude seems to be shared by many ‘big’ teams. Milan’s poor season and subsequent hiring of Clarence Seedorf has brought this question into focus with some rumours suggesting qualifying for Europe and the Europa League is a target for the team, and failing to do so may cost Seedorf his job. Or at least provide an excuse for Adriano Galliani to end Seedorf’s short stint as coach.
Now that a five game winning streak actually makes qualification for the Europa League a possibility it is perhaps a good time to have a look at the financial benefits of the often maligned competition. This is perhaps even more important since Milan is often linked with discounted and free players and without any European games (but really only the Champions League) the upcoming summer may even be a tougher one for the team and its hungry and sometimes angry fans.
The Europa League like the Champions League offers a fixed amount based on participation, wins and how far a team progresses. The current fixed amounts are shown below.
Reaching the semifinals of the competition is worth around 4.5 million Euros depending on points while getting there,, this compares to around 24 million for reaching the same point in the Champions League. Winning it is worth around 9.5 as compared to 34 million for the Champions League. The difference is big, perhaps a bit too big for some but also perhaps any revenue is better than none at all. TV pool money adds differing amounts for each team based on the TV market of the originating country and how many teams per country reach the different stages of the competitions. The TV pool money can go as high as the 50 million Euros mark for a team in the Champions League, but is often in the single digit millions for the Europa League.
Should Milan care for this competition? Are arguably pointless midweek games and relative small amounts something the supposed cash strapped club can really benefit from? Should a real youth movement and future Champions League participation be absolute targets? All good questions.