Written by: Rebecca Schelin, Media Manager, CMG
With the new format, plus the compensation, this is a massive boost for everyone who reaches this stage plus some could say an economic necessity. To say the least this is welcome news in Champions League football. To break it down a bit more, now it will even the sporting field with allowing the participating clubs to not end up in a situation where they are forced to borrow money to afford expensive trips to away matches, such as FC Rosengård a few years ago.
€ 400,000 for a place in the group stage is a significant sum for many clubs, not least our Swedish candidate – BK Häcken. The club has an annual budget for the women’s team initiative which in total is around 1 million €. Instead of chasing financial solutions to the European adventure, they can work on profiling players, selling match arrangements, eventually being able to sign longer contracts. And has the opportunity to attract well-known new acquisitions.
If you are guaranteed at least three home matches against high-class international opposition, there are also completely different conditions for working against partners. They can build around the events together in a media-closely guarded arena where they are really visible and can reach out.
For example when BK will be able to face teams of world class talent like Olympic Lyon (7x Champions League Winner) or German power house Bayern Munch. We already know that it is possible. When the Swedish Football Association made an effort before the women’s international match against Germany at Friends a couple of years ago, it generated over 25,000 spectators. They could have filled the Gamla Ullevi national arena much more often with a substantial investment.
The audience records took a turn in 2019. In Spain, for example, 60,739 watched the league match between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. One week later, 39,027 people sat in the stands in Turin when Juventus and Fiorentina met in Italian Serie A. We are increasingly met with positive news about the development of women’s football. The sport has maintained high quality for a long time. The marketing of the product and the conditions for the clubs have not lived up to the same level. Because it is possible to sell women’s football, it is clearly noticeable as soon as an honest attempt is made.
As for the Champions League, UEFA has increased the prize money from SEK 24 million to SEK 250 million. The group venue alone is worth four times as much now. For those who manage to get all the way, additional prize money of € 250,000 awaits the finalist and € 350,000 for the winner plus bonuses for each round won along the way there. Plus not to mention 50,000 for each win in the group stage and 16,000 for each tie.
Comparing with men’s money is as pointless as before, the gap is still ridiculously large. But for many of the women’s clubs, this will be a huge boost. Not something that could jeopardize the club’s existence. Why it took so long for to reach this point, well we can spend all day writing about that, however, today we are all thankful we did not have to wait any longer.
Out at Hisingen, the audience will during the autumn have the opportunity to see the big stars from teams such as Bayern Munich and Lyon. They will discover their local stars – like Jennifer Falk, Filippa Curmark & Co.
It’s finally happening and hopefully the big TV companies are hanging on to the train and making nice productions of the matches soon. The audience is there, I promise. This is the arena of possibilities. The future.