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Updated: December 18, 2009 18:03 IST

European elimination cost Liverpool euro18 million

AP
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Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez
AP Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez

Liverpool and Juventus lost at least euro18 million ($26 million) when they were eliminated from this season’s Champions League, according to a study commissioned by a tournament sponsor.

The former European champions still earned about euro32 million ($46 million) from prize money and television revenue but their disappointing group stage performances cost them.

And Professor of Sport Business Strategy Simon Chadwick said Barcelona earned about euro110 million ($158 million) from winning last season’s tournament.

Liverpool could be hit especially hard. It already struggles to compete for top players with rivals Chelsea and Manchester United and is deep in debt as it tries to finance a new stadium.

Elimination makes it even more important for the five-time European champions to recover from their poor start to the season and qualify for next year’s Champions League.

Liverpool is sixth in the English standings after losing six of its 16 Premier League games - as many defeats as it took in the whole of the previous two seasons combined.

It has to finish in the top four to at least make the qualifying rounds.

The club is about 245 million pounds ($395 million) in debt and co-owner Tom Hicks this week said he would enter into negotiations to sell his Texas Rangers baseball team.

Wolfsburg, Marseille, Atletico Madrid, Rubin Kazan, Unirea Urziceni, Standard Liege, Maccabi Haifa, Besiktas, FC Zurich, APOEL Nicosia, Debrecen, Dynamo Kiev, Rangers and AZ Alkmaar were the other teams to be eliminated from the group stages.

“The UEFA Champions League is worth as much as euro6 billion ($8.6 billion) to the European economy, with England, Italy and Spain enjoying the greatest economic boost in the last 12 months,” Chadwick said in the MasterCard report. “That means that the annual UEFA Champions League ‘economy’ is comparable to the last FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.

“This makes it both a premium sponsorship property and an important contributor to the economic and commercial health of Europe.”

The Premier League has provided nine of the competition’s past 12 semifinalists and its success means that England was the biggest beneficiary from the tournament in 2009.

Manchester United reached the 2008-09 final and was then joined in this season’s group stage by Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. England took euro129.5 million ($186 million) in prize money, euro25.5 million ($37 million) more than Italy and euro32.6 million (euro47 million) more than Spain.

French champion Bordeaux has taken the most prize money so far from this season’s tournament: It completed the group stage with a tournament high 16 points to take euro11.5 million ($16.5 million).

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