LIVERPOOL: The Financial Implications of not Qualifying for the Champions League

Jurgen Klopp
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 09: Jurgen Klopp at Anfield is unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC during a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“Who cares?” Jurgen Klopp shrugged.

When confronted with the prospect of Europa League football rather than competing against the continent’s elite in the Champions League, Klopp defiantly insisted: “Instead of Tuesday, Wednesday, it’s a Thursday.”

However, those in charge of Liverpool’s accounts may be more than a little concerned, as Klopp reluctantly admitted: “This season was not great and from a financial point of view, that’s the only problem really.”

But how much damage to the books has Liverpool’s drop into the Europa League caused? Here’s everything you need to know about the current financial situation for the red half of Merseyside.

How much will Liverpool make by finishing fifth in the Premier League?

The first blow to Liverpool’s coffers comes in the form of their Premier League finish. The Reds collected an estimated £50.4m for ending the campaign as runners-up in the English top flight last year. A fifth-placed finish in 2023 is expected to earn Liverpool a sum in the region of £35.2m.

Right off the bat, dropping three places in one season has cost Liverpool a hefty £15m – roughly the fee they received from Monaco for the services of Takumi Minamino last summer.

However, most of Liverpool’s lost revenue comes from the difference in payments from UEFA.

How much did Liverpool make in the 2022/23 Champions League?

Liverpool’s run to the Champions League round of 16 this season was the club’s worst performance in European competition since reaching the same stage during the 2019/20 campaign – yet, that year the Reds could take solace from their first top-flight title in three decades.

Despite stumbling to a 2-6 aggregate defeat against Real Madrid, Liverpool still collected £58.9m from their European sojourn according to The Mirror. More than a third of that sum (£23.7m) came from the ten-year coefficient payment Liverpool received based on their historic performance on the continent.

Football finance lecturer Kieran Maguire told The Argus that the winners of the 2023/24 Europa League are expected to rack up a maximum of £20m. So even if Liverpool go one step further than their last run in the competition, they will come nowhere near the sum they earned in 2022/23.

Champions League prize money compared to Europa League

RoundChampions League rewardEuropa League reward
Group stage participation£13.5m£3.1m
Group stage win£2.4m£313,000
Round of 16£8.3m£1.1m

Will Liverpool lose any players after failing to qualify for the Champions League?

Klopp made it abundantly clear what his stance would be if one of his players demanded a transfer based on Liverpool’s European status. “I would drive him to the other club,” he said, only half-joking. “I’d take the key and ask: ‘Where do you want to go? I will drive you’.”

Mohamed Salah sparked whispers over his future when he posted on social media that he was “totally devastated” to miss out on Europe’s premier club competition. Yet, the 30-year-old forward signed a three-year contract extension as recently as last summer and Klopp rapidly dismissed any whiff of a suggestion that Salah may be on his way out of Merseyside.

Four Liverpool players – “legends” as described by Klopp – will not have their deals renewed this summer. However, the futures of Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are not thought to have been dictated by Liverpool’s Champions League participation.

In fact, Klopp categorically stated that “nobody has asked me” about leaving Liverpool.

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