Yahoo! Finance released an interesting article today regarding the financial impact of yesterdays match on Manchester United. Here’s a breakdown of how Champion’s League participants get paid as they advance.
For making the knockout stage, each team earns €3.5m so all 16 teams that advanced to that point receive that amount. The following table breaks down the payment plan as teams advance to the following rounds:
Yesterdays match was worth exactly €3.9m. The winner gets that amount and the chance at €4.9m and the loser goes home with what they had earned up to that point. In Manchester United’s case, it was €8.6m for their involvement in the Champions League, another €4.0m for their 4 group-stage wins, and another €3.5m for making it to the knockout stage for a total of €16.1m. While that’s not exactly chump change, they could have more than doubled that amount if they had gone on to win the title, by earning another €19.3m. Keep in mind, that does not include ticket sales, merchandise, vendors, sponsor bonuses, etc. that they would’ve earned in addition to the payout from UEFA. Therefore, United’s total opportunity cost of losing yesterday could have potentially been €20m+.
When the top clubs of the world collide, it is not uncommon for the result to be decided by one or two key decisions. It is amazing to think that one referee’s judgement call could have such an indirect impact on the finances of the clubs involved. Is there an answer to prevent such an event from happening in the future? Probably not, but that’s part of what adds to the drama and excitement of these matches.
As a neutral viewer, I understand why Manchester United fans are upset at the decision. You could bet any money that Real Madrid fans would have been just as upset if Ozil karate kicked Giggs and got sent off. I also understand the referees decision. He sees a studs up boot come flying in and contacting the stomach of an opposing player in mid air. If just that sentence is all you had to go on without seeing the video, wouldn’t you give the red card as well?
To make matters worse, Nani lays on the ground as if he’d had been shot in the chest to make the referee’s decision that much easier.
I’ve seen better acting from Bob Kraft (which says a lot). It’s not like Nani has a history of diving or embellishing injuries…oh wait.
I wonder what the referee would’ve done had Nani immediately went over to Arbeloa to try to lend a helping hand? I guess we’ll never know.
If you haven’t read it yet, you must check out Leftymagic’s recap regarding the controversial match between Real Madrid and Manchester United here. You can also cast your vote if you think the red card was deserved.