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Champions League winner to claim £85m, says MasterCard

Manchester United FC and Chelsea FC, who go head-to-head at the Luzhniki Stadium just days after Sir Alex Ferguson’s men clinched the Barclays Premier League title, stand to profit from positive economic impacts such as increased squad value, prize money, sponsorship deals, television rights and growth in season ticket sales, with even the loser pocketing more than a cool £30m from the game.

The MasterCard study – conducted by sport business expert, Professor Simon Chadwick, Director of Coventry University’s Centre of the International Business of Sport – noted that in getting to the final, the two English Premier League sides each may have already earned more than £30m, during their respective UEFA Champions League 2007/2008 campaigns, meaning a win in the Moscow final will be worth in excess of £115m.

The figures compare favourably to the economic impact of the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final in Athens, where MasterCard research found that AC Milan or Liverpool FC stood to earn up to £67m from winning, which the Rossoneri achieved with a 2-1 victory.

Professor Chadwick suggests that the clubs will not be the only beneficiaries, with Moscow set to receive an economic boost to the tune of more than £35m, compared to the £18m Athens were believed to have enjoyed from the 2007 UEFA Champions League final, according to MasterCard.

Chadwick considers this positive commerce flow in the short term will be driven by fan spending in bars, clubs, shops, hotels, city attractions, bookmakers and the Luzhniki stadium, but Russia’s capital also stands to profit from a longer term economic legacy, realised through increased tourism, civic sponsorship and a greater likelihood of hosting future ‘mega events’.

The MasterCard study also found that the home city of the winning team stands to benefit to the tune of more than £10m. This windfall is expected to be felt through positive economic impacts such as enhanced city image and reputation, leading to increased tourism, and a boost to consumer confidence, resulting in increased spending after the city’s bars, pubs, shops and bookmakers have enjoyed a short term financial boost around the final itself.

“The 2008 UEFA Champions League Final is not only the greatest prize in European club football, but it is also expected to be the biggest yet in economic terms, with a total cumulative impact that could amount to upwards of £210m,” said Professor Chadwick. “Quite apart from the qualifying, group and knockout stages of the tournament, this places the Final itself on a par with the world’s leading regular, one-off sporting events, such as the NFL Superbowl.”

MasterCard has been an Official Sponsor of the UEFA Champions League since 1994.