Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg is the first time that AC Milan and Inter have faced each other in the competition since 2005.
The importance of winning the bragging rights for the fans is well known, but there is also immense financial pressure on both sets of players to deliver given just how lucrative the Champions League is when you get to the latter stages.
Both Inter and AC Milan have had their fair share of financial difficulties in recent years and they will be much more thankful to be in the semi-final than Manchester City and Real Madrid are.
Inter and AC Milan’s Champions League journeys so far
While AC Milan’s domestic campaign has been somewhat underwhelming, their European campaign has been hugely successful, beating former Inter manager Antonio Conte’s Tottenham and then Scudetto winners, Napoli, to earn a place in the semi-finals.
The road to the semi-final for the Nerrazzuri has seen them beat two of Portugal’s heavyweights, first beating Porto 1-0 over two legs and then Benfica in the quarter-final 5-3 on aggregate.
As reported by Calcio e Finanza, Stefano Pioli‘s side have made around €85 million throughout the course of the tournament so far, whereas Simone Inzaghi‘s side have made €82m.
Inter earned an extra €1m through historical rankings, but the Rossoneri made an extra €2m through the market pools, likely due to their Scudetto success last year.
Another factor that comes into account is the sanctions that both clubs received in 2022 from UEFA due to both breaking financial regulations. Milan’s punishment set the club back around €2m, and the Nerrazzuri were fined €4m.
The finances of qualifying for the Champions League final
For fans of both clubs, the finances of reaching the final compared to the implications of beating rivals to deny them a place in club football’s biggest game are minimal. However, for two sides who are desperate for investment on the pitch, it is vital to the boardroom, that success over two legs is achieved.
Across the two semi-final games, both sides will pocket around €12m each for their participation. Victory on aggregate then secures a further €15.5m, the figure UEFA pays out simply for reaching the final.
Whichever side is then victorious in this year’s Champions League final will then earn a further €4m, though this will also then boost financial packages for next season’s European competitions, due to the aforementioned financial benefits of historical rankings.
So if the Rossoneri were to be successful in their next three European games, it would see them earn a total of €100.95m across the span of the competition, though for their city rivals, their purse would only amount to €98m if they were to raise the trophy in Istanbul.
However, if either were to win the competition, they still wouldn’t have earned as much as their remaining potential opponents Manchester City and Real Madrid have already. The Citizens have already made €113m over the course of the tournament. Their semi-final opponents, Los Blancos, have raised €115m, a much higher set of figures without including any revenue hypothetically earned through the final.
These figures do not include box office receipts, which means that the clubs have likely netted much more revenue over the course of their 10 games so far that is unaccounted for.