Hibernians, Ħamrun Spartans and Gżira United are set to pocket a minimum of €2.8m combined following their excellent run in the UEFA club competitions this season.
Maltese football experienced a highly-emotional week after Hibernians, Ħamrun Spartans and Gżira United all made it through to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League.
This is an unprecedented feat in the history of Maltese football as this is the first time that three clubs have managed to reach the third qualifying round of a UEFA club competition in the same season.
But apart from the sporting achievement, this result is set to give a huge financial boost to the three participating Maltese clubs.
According to a report published by UEFA, the three Maltese clubs will receive at least €2.8 million between them. Hibernians, as Maltese champions, will receive at least €1.1 million for their European run. If they make it past their next opponents, RFS of Latvia, and into the Europa Conference League play-off round, that will rise to €1.3 million.
Gżira United and Ħamrun Spartans will each receive €850,000 in UEFA prize money for having made it to the third round of the Europa Conference League, rising to €1 million if they make it through the third qualifying round.
Those figures only represent club earnings from the UEFA prize pool and do not take into account income from gate receipts, merchandising or TV rights.
Apart from boosting their coffers, the clubs’ strong European runs have also helped improve Maltese football’s UEFA country ranking coefficient.
At the start of this summer’s competition, Malta was ranked 48th in Europe. It has now risen to 45th, ahead of Iceland, Estonia and Albania and just behind Georgia.
Hibernians started this season’s European campaign with disappointment, bowing out of the Champions League against Irish club Shamrock Rovers.
They have since made up for that and this week eliminated Estonian side Levadia Tallinn 4-3 on aggregate.
This is the second time in as many seasons that the club from Paola had reached this stage of the competition and they will feel they have a genuine chance of progressing further in the competition when they will face Latvian side RFS this week.
On the other hand, Gżira United and Ħamrun Spartans have reached the third qualifying round of a UEFA club competition for the first time in their history.
Gżira United produced the performance of the night against Serbian giants Radnicki Nis when they came from behind three times to knock out their SuperLiga opponents in a penalty shoot-out.
Ħamrun Spartans, on the other hand, knocked out Bosnian side Velez Mostar 2-0 on aggregate following a 1-0 win at the Centenary Stadium.
Both teams face an uphill task to make it further in the competition.
Gżira United will be up against Austrian side Wolfsberger, who finished fourth in the Austrian top-flight last term and also reached the latter stages of the Europa League in recent years.
On the other hand, the Spartans face Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia, who knocked out Greek side PAOK in the previous round.