UEFA has handed out a total of 150 million euros ($162.18 million) to clubs who released players for the Euro 2016 qualifying matches and final tournament, European soccer’s governing body said Thursday.
UEFA said that 641 clubs from 54 national associations had benefited from solidarity payments which were made under an agreement to appease clubs who often complain about the amount of time their players spend with their national teams.
For the qualifying matches, an average of 3,536 euros was paid to a club each time one of their players was included in the 23-man squad of a national team, whether or not he played, UEFA said.
For Euro 2016 itself, 7,321 euros per player per day was paid to so-called Category One clubs, 4,821 euros for Category Two clubs and 2,410 euros for Category Three clubs.
“I am very pleased to see that we are able to provide financial benefits to so many clubs of all profiles and sizes in order to reward their contribution to Euro 2016,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), said clubs invested “substantial resources in the development of players.”
“It is important and fair to recognise and reward the clubs for the release of their players,” he said. “ECA is pleased that a serious agreement was found with UEFA, which benefits so many clubs from across Europe.”
A similar agreement exists with soccer’s governing body FIFA for the World Cup.
Clubs have often complained that their players are involved in too many international games and sometimes come back injured, although they receive compensation under a FIFA scheme when that happens.
Despite his comments on Thursday, Rummenigge had again complained earlier this week that too many dates had been added to the international calendar.
“When I was a player, we didn’t play more than eight international games a season, now they play 15,” said the former West Germany forward.
According to the UEFA figures, Juventus received the biggest handout of 3.48 million euros, followed by Liverpool (3.39) and Tottenham Hotspur (3.07).