Rangers players will be visualising match-winning goals or game-changing moments – and picturing the Europa League in their hands.
Wednesday’s game is about glory and the clash in Seville is an opportunity for someone to write their name in the history books.
That’s not to say there aren’t other benefits and with the game increasingly determined by budgets and bank balances, it can’t be ignored that a good result in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium would net Rangers a lot of money.
The run to the final has already banked a significant amount and there’s plenty to play for against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson touched on the subject of Europa League earnings before the squad and officials flew out to Spain.
Though last season’s league winners failed to reach the Champions League, Robertson said that the subsequent Europa League run had earned the equivalent of reaching the group stage of the elite competition.
Strangely enough, the Europa League group stage wasn’t as rewarding for Rangers as it had been in the previous two years.
The Ibrox club banked an initial £2.89m just for being in the group with Lyon, Sparta Prague and Brondby. From then, points made prizes and with two wins and two draws, the sum of £1.42m was added to the pot.
The runners-up spot brought a bonus of around £470,000, making for earnings of approximately £4.78m before a game in the knockout stage had been played.
Beating Borussia Dortmund, Red Star, Braga and Leipzig brought in additional £9.3m.
A co-efficient ranking payment will add about another £780,000 to the pot.
Total prize money so far: Just under £15m
On the line in Seville
The prize money on offer on Wednesday is a straightforward £3.4m for the winner, in addition to the shiny trophy.
That would make for a total in earnings from participation and performance of £17.4m.
There are, of course, additional earnings to be totted up along the way. With crowds back at football, there’s the not-insignificant amount Rangers have earned from ticket sales from seven European nights at Ibrox. Add to that all the extra spending in and around the ground from the wider matchday experience and it will make for good reading for the accountant.
Rangers will also be due their share of the TV money. It’s difficult to quantify but all broadcast revenue goes into a central ‘market pool’, before being divided up depending on performance. With the entire pool worth upwards of £140m, Rangers could add a good deal more to their total earnings.
That’s it for this season, but if James Tavernier lifts the trophy there are major implications for next year.
Super Cup bonus
First up, there is the annual showpiece match where UEFA pit the Europa League winners up against the Champions of Europe.
Whether it’s Liverpool or Real Madrid that lie in wait remains to be seen, but any anxiety about facing Salah or Benzema would be softened by news that participation brings in just under £3m for appearing, and another £850,000 if they pull off another upset.
The lucrative Champions League group stage
Rangers have already earned a crack at reaching the Champions League by finishing second in the Premiership.
But while the qualification games for the top-level competition is one of the biggest financial ‘What if?’ situations, the Europa League winners skip that process entirely.
Automatic entry to the Champions League group stage guarantees just over £13m in prize money – and that’s without winning a game. For the six group games, there’s around £2.4m on offer per win, and around £800,000 per draw.
Add to that the fact that as trophy winners, Rangers would be a top seed in the draw and theoretically have a better chance of picking up points along the way.
The bottom line
Having gone this far, Rangers have boosted their finances to a huge extent, and £14-15m in money from UEFA is already huge reward, with not much shy of that figure also coming in from matchday revenue and other avenues.
Win on Wednesday and take in £3.4m prize money, £3m Super Cup participation and £13m Champions League cash at a bare minimum and there’s just short of another £20m guaranteed for the winner in Seville.
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