The Europa Conference League was added to UEFA's schedule in 2021-22, with European football’s governing body eager to offer opportunities to grace a continental stage to as many teams as possible.
Champions League competition may dominate the agenda, with the Europa League following closely behind, but the introduction of a third tournament and another major honour has been welcomed by those that would otherwise have been left on the outside looking in.
What are the incentives for those involved, outside of collecting a shiny trophy, and how much is success worth to the victors? GOAL takes a look…
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How much prize money do Europa Conference League winners receive?
Qualification for the group stage of the Europa Conference League is worth €2.94 million (£2.5m/$3.2m) to the 32 teams that reach that point, with various play-offs taking place before the real business begins.
From there, bonuses are triggered on a results basis before the competition progresses to the knockout round play-offs.
Any side reaching the quarter-finals will pocket a further €1m (£853k/$1.1m), with that figure doubled in the semi-finals before the runners-up get €3m (£2.6m/$3.2m) and the eventual winners collect €5m (£4.3m/$5.4m).
In 2021-22, Roma – under the management of former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho – booked a date with Dutch outfit Feyenoord in the first Europa Conference League final.
That contest will take place on May 25 at Arena Kombetare in Tirana, Albania.
Full breakdown of Europa Conference League prize money:
Stage of competition
First qualifying round
Second qualifying round
Third qualifying round
Group stage qualification
Match won in group stage
Match drawn in group stage
1st in group stage
2nd in group stage
Knockout round play-offs
Round of 16
Do Europa Conference League winners qualify for the Europa League?
While those competing in the Europa Conference have the chance to bolster their bank balance while taking aim at a prestigious prize, there is another notable perk to emerging victorious.
Ultimate success guarantees qualification for the Europa League in the following campaign – if a route into that competition, or the Champions League, is not secured through final domestic league standings.
In 2021-22, both Roma and Feyenoord were already assured of places in UEFA’s second-tier event after ending their respective campaigns sixth in Serie A and third in the Eredivisie.
When that is the case, UEFA tinkers with its distribution of qualification spots – with the absence of Russian clubs from European football also having to be factored into the equation at present as they serve an indefinite ban in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade neighbouring Ukraine.