Championship play-off final: How much is the Premier League promotion decider worth?

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England's second tier reaches a tense climax when two teams face off for the ultimate goal of reaching the Premier League

The Champions League final may be the showpiece event for European football each season featuring the best teams in the world, but it is not necessarily the most lucrative.

Away from the gaze of continental eyes, the Championship play-off final at Wembley is the most financially significant match.

It may be the second tier of English football, but the prize awaiting the triumphant team is a place in the Premier League and with that comes all sorts of benefits.

Billions of pounds are distributed among the teams that compete in England's top division, with equal television payments in tandem with merit-based rewards ensuring a relatively fair spread of the wealth.

It is no wonder, then, that the Championship play-off is sometimes dubbed "The Richest Game in Football".

As Aston Villa prepare to lock horns with Derby County, Goal takes a look at how much winning the Championship play-off is worth.


How much does the Championship play-off winner earn?


It is reported that winning the Championship play-offs is worth approximately £170 million ($216m).

Official figures for the 2018-19 season showed that broadcast revenue totalling £2.4 billion ($3bn) was distributed among the 20 clubs in the Premier League.

Of that, each club was guaranteed at least £34.3m ($43.4m) in equal share payments, £43m ($54.4m) in international TV and £4.9m ($6.2m) in central commercial payments: a base line of roughly £82.5m ($104.4m) per team, regardless of position.

As well as that, clubs were given merit payments - ranging from £1.9m for last-placed Huddersfield Town to £38.3m for champions Manchester City - and 'facility fees' which depended upon the number of televised games they were involved in.

Victory in the Championship play-off final means that a team is catapulted into that exclusive money pool and while the figures for 2019-20 may vary somewhat the rewards are still likely to reach over 100 million.

Top five 2018-19 Premier League prize money

Pos Team Equal payment Total payment
1 Manchester City £82.5m £150.9m
2 Liverpool £82.5m £152.4m
3 Chelsea £82.5m £146m
4 Tottenham £82.5m £145.2m
5 Arsenal £82.5m £142.1m

Exactly how much a team receives for competing in the Premier League depends on their success on the pitch as well as how often their games are broadcast live by TV companies.

For example, Newcastle United finished 13th in the 2018-19 Premier League, but their final earnings of £120m were more than 12th-placed Crystal Palace (£114m) and 11th-placed Watford (£113m).

The Magpies were involved in 19 live UK games, seven more than Palace and nine more than Watford.

Of course, being a part of the Premier League elite means that clubs suddenly find themselves a more attractive proposition for sponsors and they are thus able to compete for more potential revenue streams in that regard as well.

Bottom five 2018-19 Premier League prize money

Pos Team Equal payment Total payment
16 Southampton £82.5m £104.3m
17 Brighton £82.5m £105.7m
18 Cardiff City £82.5m £102.7m
19 Fulham £82.5m £101.9m
20 Huddersfield Town £82.5m £96.6m

Even a thoroughly unsuccessful campaign in the Premier League will still yield plenty of money for the teams involved.

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As well as broadcast revenue for competing in the competition, clubs who suffer relegation back to the Championship are given 'Parachute Payments', which are designed to effectively break the fall into the second tier.

These payments are a percentage of the equal share of broadcast revenue, which gradually drops over a period of three years - from 55 per cent to 45 per cent and, if the club was in the Premier League for more than one season to 20 per cent in the third year.

So, West Brom received around £40m for their first year in the Championship and, having missed out on promotion via the play-offs this season, they will receive around £35m next term. Should they fail to earn promotion again in the second season, they will get approximately £15m in the third year.

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