Following Wednesday’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Inter, Barcelona are likely to be eliminated from the UEFA Champions League Group Stage for the second year in a row. Now it’s being reported that if the Blaugrana don’t progress to the next stage, their already dire financial situation might take a serious hit.
Barcelona have been struggling on several fronts of late, which is sure to cause frustration and anxiety at the club. Even progressing to the quarter-finals of the 2022-22 UEFA Champions League campaign appears to be in doubt at this point.
After a hard-fought 3-3 draw with Inter on matchday 4 at Camp Nou at home, the Blaugrana’s prospects of progressing to the round of 16 are in jeopardy. The Italians took advantage of some sloppy defending to take a 2-1 lead with goals from Nicol Barella and Lautaro Martinez before Robert Lewandowski equalized.
The Polish veteran added his second of the game in stoppage time to keep Xavi’s side in the contest after Robin Gosens looked to have sealed Barcelona’s disastrous defeat with a goal just before the regular 90 minute mark. Barca are in third place in the current Group C standings, but their fate is out of their hands as Inter will join Bayern in the knockout stages if they beat Viktoria Plzen.
What would happen if Barcelona don’t make it past the Champions League Group Stage?
Consequently, Barcelona may find themselves in the Europa League for the second year in a row, which might further strain the club’s already tenuous financial condition. They may stand to lose as much as €52.7 million in revenue should they fail to advance beyond the Group Stage of the most prestigious European championship, as per multiple Spanish reports.
According to UEFA’s prize structure via Spanish publication AS, the top European competition awards a total of €9,6 million to the 16 clubs who advance to the next round. Both the Quarter- and Semi-Finalists will receive cash prizes totaling €10.6 million and €12.5 million, respectively. Meanwhile, the Finals pair will be awarded €15.5 million each. The winning side will also get a cash bonus of €4.5 million, bringing the grand total to €52.7 million.
For Barcelona, losing out on such prize money might be disastrous, particularly in light of their massive spending during the summer transfer season on players like Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, and Raphinha. Losing the Champions League in consecutive years will be devastating to the reputation of a club that is widely considered to be among the sport’s most prestigious organizations on a global scale.
On the other hand, to have a chance of moving through, Xavi’s players have to win both of their remaining matches, against Bayern at Camp Nou on October 26, and Victoria Plzen away on November 1. However, they will need help from the Nerazzurri losing both of their remaining games against the same opponents.