UEFA hikes up European prize money while eyeing 14th World Cup slot

3 Comments

UEFA held an executive committee meeting today, after which it announced that prize payouts from both the Champions League and Europa League would balloon thanks to a large influx of money.

The executive committee decided that next year’s Champions League payout would increase 25% to $1.37 billion across all clubs, including $984 million distributed between the 32 teams that qualify for the group stage.

Meanwhile, the Europa League got an even bigger boost, jumping 61% from $254 million to $415 million across the competition, with the winner earning $10.5 million for the final alone. Many have slighted the Europa League for being more of a burden than a gain for many clubs, but with the boost in prize money, that could be offset, giving clubs a new incentive to take the competition seriously. The organization said full payout breakdowns would be released next week.

Meanwhile, UEFA also announced it would consider pursuing a permanent 14th spot in the World Cup going forward. Europe already receives 13 bids every tournament, and for 2018 they will have 14 as Russia is the host. But, with FIFA encouraging member organizations to come forward and argue for an extra bid, UEFA said it will consider taking up the chance to argue for a permanent increase.

“To crown the best team you must have the best teams,” said UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino (pictured), calling their attempt to seek a 14th slot “objective and fair.”

It may be an uphill battle. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has repeatedly stated he would support confederations such as Africa and Asia seeing their bids increase, often at the expense of Europe’s bid count.