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English Premiership

CL final cash cow

LONDON, England, May 27- The Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona on Saturday will generate 369 million euros ($525 million) across Europe's economy, MasterCard said on the eve of the football showdown.

The winners will scoop an estimated 126 million euros thanks to "prize money, an increase in squad value, enhanced television and media rights and greater brand equity," according to a survey by the global payments group.

The losers will pocket 73 million euros, while the economic benefit to host city London will be 52 million euros as fans spend money in bars, hotels and at Wembley stadium, the final venue.

Europe’s economy will also reap 100 million euros and the city of the winning club 18 million euros thanks to increased consumer spending and tourism.

The total benefit of 369 million euros is a five percent rise compared with the final in 2010, when Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich.

"Manchester United FC versus FC Barcelona is the dream final as far as most football fans are concerned. But the English and Spanish champions are two of the most successful teams off the pitch too," said the study’s author Simon Chadwick.

"They will collectively scoop (around) 200 million euros, making this the most lucrative final in European club football’s history," added the director of the Centre for the International Business of Sport at Coventry University, central England.

The report added that Latin America’s economy is set for a windfall of up to 100 million euros from Saturday’s showpiece event, with Barcelona’s talisman, Lionel Messi of Argentina, and Manchester United’s Brazilian defender Rafael Da Silva set to feature.

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