The 2-0 Champions League victory by Maccabi Haifa over the mighty Juventus of Turin is worth a great deal of money to the northern Israeli club, owned by Ya’akov Shahar. Just the prize for winning the game, before ticket sales and broadcasting rights, is worth €2.8 million to it.
UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) has positioned the Champions League as by far the most important and most glamourous club competition, which means that the economic significance for the Israeli club is dramatic.
Of €2.73 billion that UEFA will distribute to all participants in European competitions, 74.1% will go to clubs that reach the Champions League, versus 17% for the Europa League. Maccabi Haifa’s qualification for the Champions League was thus worth more than €15 million before it sold even a single ticket.
In addition, every win at the group stage is worth, as mentioned €2.8 million, while a draw is worth €980,000.
This is just the beginning. The broadcasting and advertising rights (from the market pool) in the competition will bring the club at least €4-5 million.
A further revenue source is ticket sales. Maccabi Haifa’s home stadium, the Sammy Ofer Stadium, holds 30,780 spectators. Almost all the seats are earmarked for Maccabi Haifa supporters. Under UEFA rules, the host club is obliged to allocate 5% of it seats to supporters of the visiting club. The stadium was full to capacity, so that the club raked in a few million shekels more. At a rough estimate, ticket sales are worth at least €2 million per Champions League game.
Besides all this, the Champions League is European football’s main stage, and could be a springboard for Maccabi Haifa stars to the next stages in their careers, bringing the club further large sums on selling them. Last night’s scorer of both Maccabi Haifa’s goals, Omer Atzili, featured in sports news broadcasts and on the major sports websites all over the continent.
Another bonus from competing in the Champions League is that it makes Maccabi Haifa an attractive club for good foreign players who seek European glory.
The bottom line so far is income of some €26 million. If Maccabi Haifa reaches one of the two top places in the group and proceeds to the competition’s next stage, it will rake in another €10 million, but that will be a tough challenge, and one that no Israeli club has surmounted in the past. The formidable Paris Saint-Germain and Portugese club Benfica stand in Maccabi Haifa’s way. Both have already beaten the Israeli club in this season’s competition, as did Juventus when the two sides met in Turin a week ago.
In recent years, Maccabi Haifa’s annual budget has been NIS 70-80 million, so that competing in the Champions League represents a financial quantum leap.
When Maccabi Tel Aviv played in the group stage of the Champions League in the 2004/5 season, it received a total of €5.1 billion. Maccabi Haifa can quadruple that.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 12, 2022.
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