Why this year’s Championship Play Off final could be worth £290m to the winner

The two sides face off at Wembley in the Championship play-off final looking to join already-promoted Newcastle and Brighton in next season’s Premier League

Richard Thomas
Thursday 25 May 2017 16:01 BST
Comments
Both Huddersfield and Reading are one game away from the Premier League as Hull were a year ago
Both Huddersfield and Reading are one game away from the Premier League as Hull were a year ago

The winners of Monday’s play-off final between Huddersfield and Reading could stand to earn up to £290million over the next three seasons.

The two sides face off at Wembley in the Championship play-off final looking to join already-promoted Newcastle and Brighton in next season’s Premier League.

The annual winner-takes-all match is widely regarded as ‘the richest game in football,’ owing to the financial rewards on offer for participation in English football’s top-flight.

And it is believed that victory for either side on 29 May will see them bank at the very least £170m over the next three seasons – even if they are relegated back to the Championship after just one year. Should either the Terriers or the Royals secure safety in 2017/18, however, that figure could be as high as £290m.

“We are one year into the new broadcast rights arrangements and fans of these clubs will be fully aware of the financial reward for playing in the top flight next season,” head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte Dan Jones explained. "Wembley's winner-takes-all clash will be a fantastic advert for both the Premier League and the Championship.”

Due to the equal distribution of the Premier League’s television revenue, even the team finishing bottom of next season’s table will bank at least £95m.

And after relegation, parachute payments totalling £75m over two seasons mean clubs making the step down are guaranteed at least £170m over a three-year period.

Should Huddersfield, Reading, Brighton or Newcastle beat the drop next term, as Burnley did this season, their promotion jackpot would increase to £290m.

Reading beat Fulham to reach the play-off final

"The financial prize for Reading or Huddersfield, and Brighton, becomes at least £290m if the promoted club survives the first season in the Premier League,” Jones added. "Burnley successfully stayed up this year, and a sustained period of Premier League participation could provide any newly promoted club with the platform to enter the top 30 of the Deloitte Football Money League."

In addition to a basic £95m for participation in next season’s top-flight, teams will receive an addition £2m for each position up the league they are able to finish.

However, despite the vast sums of money on offer for even the lowest achieving sides, recent history shows the difficulty of making an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation.

In 2016/17, both Norwich City and Aston Villa missed out on even a play-off place – with Jones explaining that the lack of a guarantee of promotion encourages clubs to be more financially responsible.

"The current broadcast rights arrangements provide Premier League clubs with the financial resources to make strategic investments both on and off the pitch. Whilst this typically includes some increased expenditure on playing talent in the short term, it is important that promoted clubs are committed to long-term financial responsibility.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in