Bayern Munich are preparing to face Chelsea in the final of the Champions League in the painful knowledge that victory would offer an enormous financial boost to two of their biggest rivals.
UEFA will pay the Bavarian giants 9 million euros prize money if they win the final, which is being played at Bayern’s home ground on May 19.
But the German side would then immediately owe every penny of that bonus cash to Schalke and Hoffenheim.
When Schalke sold Germany international goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to Bayern last summer, they inserted a cheeky “on-pitch success” clause which entitled them to massive cash bonuses based on how well the goalie’s new club did.
Schalke are already due 2 million for Bayern having reached the semi-finals, but they will be due a further 4 million from the Bavarian giants if they lift the trophy in two weeks’ time.
And it doesn’t stop there. Hoffenheim struck a smaller but otherwise almost identical deal with Bayern after they sold Luiz Gustavo for 17 million euros in January 2011.
Hoffenheim have already picked up a 1 million euro bonus for the Munich side making the semi-finals, and they’ll be due another 2 million if their rivals win the trophy.
That means that Bayern’s entire 9 million prize money would be wiped out at a stroke – and also means that, financially speaking, they’d be better off pocketing the 5.6 million euros offered to the runner-up.
Will that stop them trying to beat Chelsea? Certainly not, but suffice to say that there are 9 million reasons why the overly-pessimistic lawyer who allowed these clauses through might soon be clearing his desk in the back rooms of the Allianz Arena.