Brussels, Belgium:The winner of the Champions League could reap up to euro110 million (US$160 million) in revenues despite the world economic downturn, according to a study released on Thursday.
Any slip-up in a penalty shootout could cost the losing club up to euro40 million ($56 million) - the likely revenue difference between victor and vanquished in the final next May 27 in Rome, according to Professor Simon Chadwick of Coventry University Business School in England.
"Losing will mean lower prize money," Chadwick said. "Clearly it will affect their ability to negotiate with sponsors and in terms of squad value that will be marginally less."
The 16 teams going into Friday's draw in Nyon, Switzerland, have on average already secured euro38.45 million (US$56.2 million) through prize money, tournament commercial revenues, ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandising and increased squad value.
"The competition continues to be an important source of revenue and commercial activity for clubs, especially for those that qualify for the knockout phase," said Chadwick, who produced the study for Champions League sponsor MasterCard.
Considering Real Madrid is the biggest club based on revenue with euro351 million (US$513 million), the importance of winning the Champions League, the sport's richest club competition, cannot be underestimated, especially in times of crisis.
"The big teams in the Champions League are going to be more recession resistant than others," Chadwick said in a telephone interview.
He said the top teams' global fan base and the overall appeal of the competition would help them win sponsorship deals and bigger slices of television rights.
Chadwick also said that for the 16 teams in Friday's draw, the value of their players will have increased 13 percent by simply getting this far.