Omonia’s European dream turns green

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Omonia Nicosia’s New York-based Cypriot investor Stavros Papastavrou is seeing his investment in the club starting to pay off, as it will yield a minimum €1.7 mln from its participation in Europe.

Following a disappointing first season, when he took over in 2018-19 season with the football club finishing sixth, this year Omonia has not only returned to the lucrative Champions League after a decade away, but it is also off to a good start.

The team has reached the UCL third qualifying round after beating Ararat Armenia, and on Wednesday defeated Legia Warsaw.

Despite being the underdog, Omonia beat Legia Warsaw 2-0 after extra time, with a lot of help from youngster Marinos Tzionis, and new signing Ernest Asante, once one of the fastest players in the world.

The Greens will receive €1.7 mln from its exploits.

Omonia has banked some €280,000 from the team’s participation in the first preliminary round of the Champions League, €380,000 from the second round, and €480,000 for their upcoming participation in the third qualifier.

In the worst-case scenario, being knocked out of the Champions League to the Europa League’s playoff will see it get another €300,000.

If the team fails to pass the playoff stage, Omonia will receive another €260,000 in bonuses for participating in the tournament as a Champion but failing to qualify for the group stage.

If Omonia makes it to the Champions League playoffs, then the team would be set for the big money.

The losing sides in the playoffs find themselves in the group stages of the Europa League, the secondary UEFA competition.

In that scenario, Omonia would pocket €5-7 mln if they make it to the Europa League group stage.

If Omonia gets past the Champions League playoffs, it could generate up to €20 mln.

The club is playing in Europe’s top tournament after it was awarded first place, but not the league title when last season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Omonia’s success so far has brought them to the third round where their opponent will be known on Monday when UEFA holds the draw.