Everton could play in the new UEFA Europa Conference League next season but fans should not expect the competition to be hugely lucrative.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively about how Everton’s dream will be affected by Champions League clubs refusing to give up cash to the lower-level competitions.
The Champions League is the ultimate ambition for 5th-place Everton and failing that the Europa League.
🏆 The Europa Conference League will launch next season.
🇦🇱 🏟️ The #UEFAExCo has announced the competition's first final will be at Albania's new National Arena in Tirana in 2022!
— UEFA (@UEFA) December 3, 2020
But the club could find themselves competing in the Europa Conference League – a new competition at the level below the Europe League – should they finish 6th.
Maguire explains that, although European football at any level is an attractive proposition, competing in the tournament would not be lucrative for the Toffees.
“This won’t have much of a meaningful financial impact,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“The Europa Conference League is going to be there next season. At present, the way that the money is split by UEFA is that 78 per cent goes to the Champions League and 22 per cent goes to the Europa League.
“It’s not yet been agreed what share the Europa Conference will get but I can’t see Champions League clubs giving up money.
“I suspect the money that presently goes to the Europa League will be split between these two competitions. So it’s not going to move the dial.
“The thought of playing in Europe is nice, there’s no doubt about it. But attendances at these competitions don’t tend to be great. Premier League clubs tend to get better attendances because Premier League fans are so dedicated.
“The money from TV isn’t going to be great either because people want to watch Barcelona, Bayern and the usual suspects, not Everton versus the second-best team in Denmark.
“The money is an elephant in the room. No one wants to go and ask the larger clubs for a bit more money to go into the Conference League. They’re scared they will throw their toys out of the pram and go and set up their own competition.”
Qualification for the Europa Conference League depends on the outcome of the League Cup final in April, with the winner getting a spot in the competition.
However, if the winner of Manchester City versus Tottenham finishes in the top five in the league this season, the place will go the team in 6th place in the league.