For Arsenal, the victory in the final of the Europa League in Baku – the choice of the destination condemned by UEFA – carries the mark of qualification for the Champions League next season compared to Chelsea, who finished third in the Premier League and is therefore qualified. Even if the margin was enough for Unai Emery in his first season as manager, finishing fifth with a point behind the Spurs, a defeat in the final would mean a third consecutive failure to qualify for Arsenal, a blow to the football status and financial difficulties. Final has arrived, fans are excited and they have got their Champions League final tickets as well.
The financial consequences of missing the Champions League can be exaggerated, illuminated by a vague perception that Uefa’s euros mark the gap between the richest clubs in the Premier League and the others. Arsenal itself declared in its 2017-2018 annual accounts that it had recorded a £ 35 million decline in ‘football revenues’ last season – of all its revenues, with the exception of one profit of £ 15 million realized thanks to the real estate development of Islington, which is still ongoing 12 years after the Emirates Stadium opened in 2006.
“The decline [was] mainly due to the club’s participation in the UEFA Europa League rather than the most lucrative Uefa Champions League,” their report said.
This 35 million pounds would, of course, be huge for most clubs in Europe, but it shows that the fact of not qualifying for the Champions League has a smaller proportional impact on the earnings of a big club than we often do not think so. The absence of Arsenal in Arsene Wenger’s last season had cost the club only 8% of his total football revenue of £ 423 million the previous year, 2016-17, the last one he had played in the Champions League.
For a club like Leicester without Arsenal’s rich revenue from sponsorships and matches played at the Emirates, their unique participation in the Champions League after the miraculous title victory of the 2016 Premier League provided a relatively larger sum: 70 M £ – 30% of earnings. all 2016-17 revenues from Leicester.