The price of Championship play-off promotion: The richest game in football
By Gerard Brand and PA Sport
Last Updated: 28/05/16 4:07pm
Sheffield Wednesday and Hull can expect an instant cash boost if they clinch promotion to the Premier League in the Championship play-off final on Saturday.
The showdown - live on Sky Sports - is billed as the most lucrative game in football, but exactly how much is it worth?
With the help of financial analysts Deloitte, we break down and assess the prize the winner can expect this summer…
How much would the win be worth?
The value of victory to Sheffield Wednesday in Saturday's Sky Bet Championship play-off final is £170m, according to experts at Deloitte's Sports Business Group.
Wembley opponents Hull can also expect a huge revenue uplift if they triumph, although the value to them is less, at £110m, as they will have to forgo parachute payments following relegation from the Premier League last year.
What makes up those figures?
The record £170m minimum promotion prize is an increase of £40m on the figure estimated for last year owing to the rise in Premier League TV rights.
The figure breaks down as £95m for next season - mostly from central distributions but also increased commercial activity and gate receipts - and £75m in guaranteed parachute payments if relegated. If the club avoid the drop next year, the overall figure rises to a staggering £290m.
These riches are available to all clubs promoted to the top flight but the sudden-death nature of the play-off final exacerbates the difference between making the cut and missing out.
Next season Deloitte expect the club who finishes bottom of the Premier League to earn £95m to £100m. That's all to do with the increase in broadcast revenue.
Middlesbrough and Brighton actually faced a similar scenario earlier this month when they met in the final round of regular season fixtures with the last remaining automatic promotion spot at stake. Boro prevailed after a 1-1 draw to join Championship winners Burnley in the top flight.
Richard Battle, senior manager in the sports business group at Deliotte, said: "The reason the figures for the play-off final and the Middlesbrough-Brighton match earlier this month are bigger than any equivalent game previously is the coming into effect of the Premier League's new broadcast deals.
"It is a fantastic amount of money for a football club and really allows them to invest, not just in playing talent but also in the infrastructure of the club and the community as well. The financial prize of Premier League football is greater than it ever has been."
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How sharply has the prize money increased over the years?
Figures from Deloitte show how much the jackpot for winning promotion to the Premier League has increased over the years. Just 10 years ago the value of going up was approximately £40m, while today's numbers dwarf those of when Wednesday last played in the top flight.
Battle said: "Sheffield Wednesday generated revenue of £18m in the club's last season in the Premier League, in 1999/2000.
"A win on Saturday would see them generate revenue at least six times that amount next season, and could propel them into the world's top 30 revenue-generating clubs."
With the commercial power of the Premier League showing no signs of abating, it seems only likely to increase further.
Estimated worth of Championship play-off final through the years
Battle added: "The full stadia, global TV exposure and the will of commercial partners to pay to associate themselves with Premier League football are what make it the strongest league globally in terms of revenue generation.
"The flow from that is clubs can invest that in better players and the product becomes more appealing. That in turns drives the increases in broadcasting revenue and commercial values, so there is really a virtuous circle for the Premier League."
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What happens with the three relegated sides from the Premier League?
Promoted clubs who are relegated after a single year in the Premier League will no longer benefit from full parachute payments from the 2016-17 season.
That means Norwich, who went down after gaining promotion from the play-off final this time last year, will receive only two years of parachute payments, while Newcastle and Aston Villa receive three years.
Before this season, relegated clubs received four years of parachute payments: £25m in the first year, £20m the season after, £10m in the third year, £10m in the fourth. With it now being reduced to three years, the year-one payment stands at £40m.
Although the Premier League have not confirmed these figures, year two is reported to stand at £33m and year three at £14m.