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City could lose out on Champions League money

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Manchester City were the biggest earners of any club in the Champions League last season, collecting about £63m in television and performance money, despite losing to Real Madrid in the semi-finals. However, rule changes agreed by Uefa and the European Clubs Association (ECA) could benefit the red side of Manchester.

Part of the TV money will be distributed from 2018 according to how many European Cups and Champions League titles each club has won.   Clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool, provided they qualify, stand to earn millions more in a season than clubs like City, who have never won the Champions League.

Those behind the changes argue that the Champions League brand has been built by the biggest clubs in the game so they deserve the biggest rewards.  It's similar to the 'wild card' entry argument for qualification for top clubs if they fail to get a place in the normal way.  

It all points to the influence of the ECA and the dominance of that organisation by the traditional top clubs.   One of the key influentials has been United director David Gill who is also deputy chairman of Uefa's club competitions committee.

Opposition is, however, coming from the European Professional Football Leagues.  They have less influence on Uefa, but are threatening to renege on the agreement that domestic games are not played at the same time as Champions League or Europa League matches.

Clubs would get 15 points if they won the Champions League in the last five years, ten points since the start of the Champions League in 1992 and five points for each European Cup before then.  Teams like Nottingham Forest are unlikely to be able to cash in their points.   A smaller number of points would be awarded for Europa League/Uefa Cup trophies.

These points would contribute to a club's overall Uefa coefficient, somehing of which Arsene Wenger is so proud of at Arsenal that it is a wonder he has not paraded it around Islington.   Clubs would thus get rewarded twice, in terms of seeding and when it comes to income distribution.

English clubs' overall income from Europe is also likely to be hit by a rule change which would see TV money distributed on the basis of results rather than the size of each country's individual TV deal.  The £897m BT sport contract for the present three year cycle is the most lucrative in Europe, hence why City topped the prize money list.