A UEFA Executive Committee decision, approved on 22 September, will double the total prize money on offer and reward clubs for releasing their players for the first time.
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UEFA Women's EURO 2022 will set new standards for women's national team competitions by introducing the competition's first-ever club benefits programme and doubling the prize money on offer at next summer's tournament in England.
In the past six months, UEFA has made far-reaching changes to the financial distribution models for both its premier women's national team competition and this season's UEFA Women's Champions League. Both underline the governing body's determination to deliver on three ambitious objectives of its five-year strategy for the women's game, Time for Action:
- Doubling the reach and value of the UEFA Women's EURO and the UEFA Women's Champions League
- Doubling the number of women and girls playing football in UEFA's member associations to 2.5 million
- Changing perceptions of women's football across Europe
We look in detail at what these decisions mean for national associations and clubs, and how they stand to benefit the long-term development of women's football.
What is the club benefits programme and how will it work at the Women's EURO?
UEFA has offered payments to clubs that provide players for the men's EURO since 2008 in recognition of their role in making the tournament possible.
With its latest decision, European football's governing body has approved plans to introduce a similar 'club benefits programme' for the Women's EUROs – acknowledging clubs' contributions to the final tournament's success by releasing players. The club benefits programme will amount to a significant €4.5 million.
How will the club benefits money be distributed?
Payments will only be allocated to European clubs whose players are selected for national teams participating in Women's EURO 2022. The total amount paid will be calculated according to the number of days that a player is released for the final tournament: this will cover ten preparation days, the total number of days a player participates in the tournament, plus one additional travel day.
Eligible clubs will be compensated at a rate of €500 per player per day, with payments distributed in October–December 2022. For each of its players taking part in the Women's EURO, a club is guaranteed a minimum payment of €10,000.
How will UEFA ensure that the introduction of club benefits contributes to the long-term development of women's football?
The club benefits programme represents a critical component of the virtuous circle of growing the women's game. As well as compensating clubs for the time that their players are absent with the national team, UEFA is also encouraging clubs to reinvest the redistributed funds for the benefit of the sport.
How will Women's EURO 2022's total prize money set new standards for the women's game?
The total prize money on offer will total €16m – the highest ever and double the €8m available at the previous Women's EURO in 2017.
Two UEFA decisions have made the rise in overall prize money possible: separating the commercial arrangements for its men's and women's competitions, and increased overall UEFA investment in the competition.
How will the prize money be distributed?
Prize money will be allocated according to two criteria: equal distribution (60%) and tournament performance (40%).
- Equal distribution, accounting for 60% of the total amount available
€9.6 million of the total €16 million prize money will be divided equally among all 16 participating national associations, regardless of their performance in the final tournament.
- Tournament performance, accounting for 40% of the overall pot
The remaining €6.4 million will be allocated according to national teams' group stage results and performances in the knockout rounds – the latter will account for almost two-thirds of the performance pot.
Full breakdown: how UEFA will distribute prize money to national teams at Women's EURO 2022
• All 16 teams will receive a guaranteed minimum payment of €600,000, double the equivalent amount for Women's EURO 2017.
• For the first time ever at a UEFA women's national team competition, performance-based bonuses will be introduced during the group stage: €100,000 for a win and €50,000 for a draw.
• Teams reaching the quarter-finals will receive an additional €205,000. Semi-finalists will be allocated a further €320,000.
• The 2022 Women’s EURO champions will receive €660,000 versus €420,000 for the runners-up. Prize money is cumulative; if the champions also win all their group matches, they will receive a total of €2,085,000.
What is UEFA's thinking behind this distribution of prize money?
UEFA will distribute Women's EURO 2022 prize money as widely as possible across the participating sides to prioritise the development of women's football across Europe.
For example, at the group stage, the equal distribution principle guarantees a minimum payment to all participating teams that amounts to double the equivalent figure for Women's EURO 2017. In addition, we are introducing performance fees for the first time for all matches in the group stage (see 'Tournament performance' above). National teams that win all their group matches stand to earn €900,000 – three times more than was possible before.
For any given match in the group stage, the new model gives teams an additional sporting and financial incentive, raising the levels of competition and entertainment in England next summer.
How does the new distribution model compare with other women's sporting competitions?
As a proportion of overall tournament revenue and costs, payments at Women's EURO 2022 will be in line with, or even higher than, other women's national team competitions. This places the new distribution model among the leading prize money schemes globally for women's team sports.
It all adds up to a win-win result for the development of European women's football.