As the dust settles on Chelsea's memorable night in Barcelona, the financial benefits of such a result illustrate just how important it is for Spurs to rediscover their form and seal fourth spot.
The Blues have guaranteed themselves the biggest-ever TV money payout from their run to the final in Munich, earning an estimated £45m from UEFA's TV cashpot. Such a monumental stack of cash brings Tottenham's steady slide out of the top four into clearer focus.
The penalty for last year's fifth place finish and subsequent Europa League qualification was that Spurs missed out on at least £22 million in revenue. Their run to the quarter-finals in the 2010/11 season generated club record revenues and off the back of that Spurs jumped above Manchester City into 11th place on the Deloitte Football Money League, earning £163.5m.
Such as huge jump was primarily down to Champions League football, which increased matchday and broadcasting revenues and commercial opportunities. This year, however, Spurs have received just £3.7m from the Europa League. Fifth place has cost them dearly.
Last year's failure will see them slip back down the table in Deloitte's next report and should they again fail to secure a top four finish they risk being left behind completely. White Hart Lane is no money-spinner and Spurs are wisely exploring options for redevelopment or, more likely, the building of a new ground.
In contrast, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all already have the capacity to generate considerable revenues from their matchday experience. They have the stadiums to guarantee their place in the money list's top 10 for years to come. Liverpool and Chelsea, like Spurs, also want to upgrade their stadiums to avoid being outgunned by their more profitable rivals.
The Champions League represents an opportunity to make up for this shortfall, at least until a new ground is sorted. UEFA divide the cash through a combination of performance bonuses and participation payouts. The English clubs command the big fees because Sky and ITV pay the most for TV rights.
Similarly, each club is guaranteed £3.2m for playing in the group stage plus £450,000 for each match played and another £650,000 for every win. Just a draw nets a club £325,000. Make it to the final and you can expect another £13.25m in bonuses. Win the whole tournament and receive £16.05m. However, Harry Redknapp's side, so well placed less than two months ago, is now scrambling desperately to recover ground lost to Newcastle and Arsenal.
One win in nine has seen Spurs tumble down the league and they now languish in fifth, three points behind Newcastle in the final qualifying spot. Mercifully for Redknapp there may be salvation in the form of a relatively straight forward run-in. The north London club's last four fixtures include three of the bottom six, Aston Villa, Bolton and Blackburn, before a final-day home game against Fulham.
Redknapp has assured fans that four wins will be enough to clamber back into the top four and he's probably right, as Newcastle face tricky fixtures at home to Man City and away to Chelsea.
But such assurances shouldn't have been necessary as Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all struggled for consistency, allowing Spurs to enjoy third spot relatively unchallenged.
However, they saw their Champions League chase collapse on 26 February, when they led 2-0 at the Emirates and were seemingly poised to deal another bitter blow to Arsenal's already stuttering season. However, Wenger's charges stormed back, emerged 5-2 winners and haven't look back since. Spurs on the other hand didn't win in the league again until April.
Aside from the effect on the balance sheet, missing out on Champions League football could also have serious repercussions on the pitch. Luka Modric's transfer flirtation with Chelsea feels like it's just been set aside rather than completely forgotten, and Gareth Bale is wanted man both in Britain and abroad. It's not hard to imagine an exodus, possibly led by the manager himself, if Spurs ultimately fail to secure fourth.
The 2012 Deloitte report on Spurs concludes that modern stadium development combined with a continuation of recent on-pitch form "could secure the club a top ten position on a frequent basis". The report described Champions League qualification as the "great differentiator", allowing clubs to accelerate growth and consolidate their financial position.
Manchester City can demonstrate the riches offered by Europe's top club competition most recently. Participation this year netted Mancini's men £21.3m. Last year's Europa League adventure brought home just £4.5m.
Spurs had a great chance to consolidate after qualification in 2009/10. They missed that and slipped back to fifth the next season. To get another opportunity so quickly is something Spurs really cannot afford to pass up.
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