The Union of European Football Association (UEFA), lost £514million from the Champions League and Europa League last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This led to reduced TV and sponsorship income, and as a result, it plans to cut prize money for club competitions – Champions League and Europa League, over the next five years (seasons) to offset the incurred losses.
According to The Times, UEFA wrote to its 55 member associations revealing the amount lost (£514million) due to the financial impact of the pandemic and its plans to cut the prize money for its two competitions.
By spreading the costs out to offset losses, competing clubs in the two UEFA club competitions (Champions League and Europa League) can expect a roughly 4-per-cent drop in Uefa prize money in each of the next five seasons.
The 2019-20 Champions League and Europa League were on hold for five months (mid-March to August) when the pandemic wreaked havoc on the global sporting calendar, with the UEFA opting to schedule matches from the quarter-finals which were played as single-match knockout ties at neutral venues in Lisbon, Portugal (Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade).
DAZN, an English streaming platform terminated its rights deal for the UEFA club competitions (Champions League and Europa League) in particular places like South East Asia and Japan, the streaming platform cited the delay and the reduced number of matches (one-legged tie) as a reason for the termination.
Telco Altice, a French multinational telecommunications corporation, which holds exclusive rights for the Champions League and Europa League in France, has publicly demanded its money back, due to the delay and reduction in matches played. Telco Atlice pays €350million per season for its rights to the two UEFA club competitions for the 2018-21 cycle.
Also, UEFA recently announced that financial services company – Mastercard, has renewed its Champions League sponsorship contract to continue through the 2021-24 cycle extending its 26-year partnership, dating back to 1994. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights for the UEFA Super Cup competition in 2021, 2022, and 2023.