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August 24, 2006 3:00 am

Winning club in Champions League likely to net €100m

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The winner of this season's Champions League football competition in Europe stands to make €100m through increased sponsorship, television revenue and gate receipts and higher values for their players, research shows.

There are also benefits for the winning club's city, with Liverpool's victory in 2005 helping the city reap €70m ($84m, £48m) and Porto's victory the previous year benefiting Portugal's second largest city by €12m.

The research, by Mastercard, shows Champions League winning teams gain additional revenue from TV rights in the tournament and in the following season's international cup tournaments and domestic league.

Winning the tournament, for which the first round draw takes place next week, helps the club with increased attendances, a bigger fan base and a rise in hospitality income. Sponsorship revenue for the club could rise by 400 per cent.

Merchandising revenue was likely to double and there was €20m to come from an improved international image. The value of the club's players could rise by 10-30 per cent.

Mastercard quizzed several analysts who said Europe's leading clubs had invested at least €100m in recent years to make their teams competitive enough to win the Champions League.

Small and little-known cities were more likely to capitalise on the benefits of their clubs winning the tounament than bigger well known cities such as Barcelona, winners of last season's competition.

But Sergio Lugaresi of Grupo Capitalia, the Italian banking group, said the benefits were most likely to be temporary. "There is a temporary beneficial effect on economic sentiment, and there may be a positive impact on the economy of the area. But the impact of winning is not that large to change economic forecasts," he said.

"I don't think the economic effect of Italy wining the World Cup was particularly relevant. The real beneficiaries of the Champions League are the sponsors and the city that hosts the final."

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