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Those who talk about the inevitability of a breakaway European Super League could see the following number either as proof (imagine how much more there’d be if Man Utd were playing Barcelona every week!) or as repudiation (look at how much money clubs would be walking away from!): this year’s UEFA Champions League is worth a record $1.55 billion in marketing and television revenues, an impressive 33 percent rise on last year’s figure.
There are plenty of interesting financial tidbits: “Each club is guaranteed a $10.1 million participation fee before play begins in September and will get bonuses based on results. A group stage victory pays $1.14 million, while the final next May is worth an extra $12.8 million to the winner and $7.4 million to the runner-up.” Interestingly, last season the biggest market pool earner was Bayern Munich, who made $30.6 million because they were the only German team to reach the knockout stage.
It’s also reported that UEFA themselves keep $285 million of total revenues and that the newly formed European Club Association “will receive at least $3.6 million.”
- Fifa.com has its usual good weekend preview of action around the world.
- Dinamo Bucharest face sanctions after a pitch invasion led to the abandonment of last night’s Europa League game against Slovan Liberec.
- Carseon Yeung finally formalised his takeover bid for Birmingham City; the minority shareholder has lodged a $135m cash offer for control of the club.
- The Guardian considers six underrated footballers, with John Aldridge topping the list. My vote would have been for Vinny Samways, but I’m weird like that.
- It looks like Portsmouth’s takeover fiasco is finally approaching resolution as well.
- Supporters Direct has a piece on the new “fan card” in Italy, an issue we’ve discussed here before: “The fan card has not been welcomed by people attending Italian stadiums. Live football should be a joy, but in a police regime, it’s disregarded as a welcome opportunity to gain information, marketing opportunities, etc – it’s frustrating for all.”
- Barcelona have reported record revenues but lower profits for the past year.
- There’s a tremendous interview with Oguchi Onyewu at the New York Times Goal blog. Frankly, I can’t remember the last time I read such an interesting Q & A with a player on a top European team. Onyewu covers everything from his gamble in not signing with a club before the Confederations Cup to his nationality and thoughts on racism in European football.
- Steven Cohen apparently announced today would be his last appearance on Sirius Radio’s World Soccer Daily, (hopefully) ending a long, bitter and ugly dispute with Liverpool fans. Cohen certainly brought much of this on himself, but if this is the last I hear of him and the campaign, I’ll be relieved.
- The Examiner reports that the Seattle Sounders have 2,000 people on their season ticket waiting list for 2010. There are MLS clubs who barely have more than 2,000 season ticketholders!
- Speaking of Seattle, an interesting note on the costly penalty miss by Freddy Montero — he wasn’t supposed to take the kick, according to coach Sigi Schmid. “He wasn’t supposed to hit the PK,” Schmid said. “There was a player designated to hit the PK — he needs to stand up and take responsibility for that.” Oops.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.