It’s been a long time since Atletico Madrid or Barcelona had to consider the prospect of not making the top four. Quite aside from the frustration on a sporting level, not qualifying for the Champions League could have considerable consequences for both financially.
Although Barcelona have six point gap to fifth-placed Real Betis, the two go head-to-head at the weekend, while Atletico Madrid only have a three point cushion to Real Betis. Los Colchoneros also face their arch rivals Real Madrid at the weekend.
According to Diario AS, failing to qualify for the Champions League could cost them around €70m in prize and TV money. That figure doesn’t take into account ticket money either.
The rewards would be less for Real Betis, Sevilla or Real Sociedad should they qualify, as the TV deals are divided up based on the market share that each team commands.
Although Sevilla are perhaps more likely to be planning their operations with the Champions League in mind, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid certainly rely on the finance that it brings.
Should they fail to reach the group stage, they may be faced to sell one of their star assets to cover the gaping financial hole.