Chelsea could lose as much as £40million if they fail to make the Champions League next season.
The Premier League champions will more than likely not finish in the top four this season and their only chance of making it to next season’s Champions League seems to be to win the current edition, but they go into tonight’s round of 16, second leg clash with PSG with a 2-1 deficit.
They could lose even more if sponsors decide to jump ship and their chances are even all the more slimmer as they lie 10th on the Premier League table and with lifting this year’s Champions League also looking very unlikely, they may be left in the wilderness at the end of the season.
The eventual winner of the Champions League this year will pocket more than £42m in prize money, while the ‘market pool share’ for English clubs can see the biggest earner take £31m.
Even just qualifying for the group stage is worth around £9m and you can slap on another £4.25m for the knockout rounds.
Needless to say, Chelsea are set to pay the price for not playing in Europe’s elite competition next season.
Unlike their rivals, they are believed to have not put clauses in the contracts of their players to protect themselves against missing out on Champions League football.
It means they face forking out substantial salaries to their stars, even though they might not be competing in the competition that attracts all the attention.
Eden Hazard is their top earner on £200,000 per week, for example, and he would remain on his full salary. Last season’s Player of the Year is among those who is wanted elsewhere, mainly by Real Madrid and tonight’s opponents PSG.
Hazard, Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois could be sold in the summer and clubs won’t mind coming for them, knowing they can offer them first-class football in Europe.