Some clubs can expect at least £76m in prize money alone

UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

With the season coming to a close, the top of the Premier League has become an interesting topic with a possible fifth place position allowing qualification into the Champions League.

With clubs reaching the Champions League group stage guaranteed a minimum payment of £15m each, that figure is then topped up depending on their group results, with each win worth an additional £2.7m and a draws £0.9m.

Teams who reach the last 16 bank a guaranteed extra £9.5m, plus additional payments the longer they stay in the competition.

Quarter-finalists get a further £10.5m on top and semi-finalists another £12m.

Each Champions League finalists gets £15m, although the winner's bonus is only a relatively meagre £4m.

So, in basic and performance-related terms, clubs who go all the way can expect at least £76m plus in prize money alone.

With seven English teams playing in Europe next season, how do sides qualify for the Champions League Or the new Europa Conference League? And what happens if cup winners finish in the top four of the Premier League?  

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Qualification becomes a little complicated to understand but the maximum number of English teams in UEFA competitions is seven.

The Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup winners makes a difference to those chasing qualification through the Premier League  

Champions League qualification

The top four teams in the Premier League qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

Winning the Champions League or Europa League also guarantees a place in the group stages.

Up to five English teams can qualify for the Champions League through these two methods but if Man United win the Europa League and finish in the top four, their qualification for the Champions League through their League position is NOT transferred to another team.

There was one scenario that could have resulted in the fourth placed club missing out on Champions League football.

It would have occurred if Chelsea finished outside the top four but won the Champions League and Arsenal finished outside the top four and won the Europa League but with Arsenal’s Europa League exit last week to Villarreal in the semi-finals, it now means the top four of the Premier League are now assured of Champions League berth.

Europa League and Europa Conference League qualification

There are two Europa League spots available to English clubs.

One goes to the team which finishes fifth in the Premier League, the second goes to the side which wins the FA Cup.

As well as the Champions League and the Europa League, the Europa Conference League launches next season.

The understanding behind the Europa Conference League is to give clubs a taste of European football especially sides from countries that struggle to qualify for the other two UEFA competitions.

But there is also a spot up for grabs for English clubs, too.

The winners of the Carabao Cup were guaranteed to qualify for the Europa Conference League play-off round.

But after Man City lifted the trophy – having already secured a place in the Champions League qualifying spot – their place will be passed on to the next highest ranked Premier League side which has NOT qualified for a UEFA competition.

Leicester City beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final with both side currently in the top four of the Premier League. If they stay there, they automatically qualify for the Champions League , meaning the Europa League qualifying spot for winning the FA Cup will be passed on to the next highest-ranked Premier League side which has NOT qualified for a UEFA competition.

Provided Chelsea and Leicester remain in the top five or Chelsea go on to lift the Champions League Trophy - the Premier League's seventh-placed team will qualify for the Europa Conference League next season.

A little complicated but you can see why the final stages of the Premier League season is exciting with the top nine or 10 teams still playing for points and in a position to qualify for European football next season.

Leeds, sitting in ninth position before last Saturday, mathematically could still finish fifth although it would require an utterly improbable set of results for the outcome to occur.

Enjoy watching how this all unfolds.