On Saturday May 22, two teams from Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City, Leicester City, Blackpool and Swansea City will go head to head at Wembley Stadium with the prize for the winners now estimated to be at around £90m.
That value is reported to be an incredible 50 per cent up on last year and means the match is now the most lucrative single match to be played.
Next season will see the club at the bottom of the Premier League pick up an astonishing £40m at least from central funds – more than 10 times the equivalent sum picked up by a Championship team. Add to that extra revenue and the £48m now available in parachute payments and you have the maths to take you to the £90m figure. If the winners of the May 22 game stayed in the Premiership then the total becomes £130m as a minimum, rising by at least £40m a season.
Paul Rawnsley, director of sports business group at Deloitte said "In financial terms, the match offers the winning club the most substantial prize in world football and the value is now even greater as a result of the Premier League’s increased revenues from international broadcast rights and the proposals to extend parachute payments over four seasons. It is a prize which provides the opportunity for sound investment and strengthening the foundations of a club for years to come."
Alex Byars, senior consultant in the sports business group, says: “Whilst some commentators talk of an unbridgeable gulf between the Championship and the Premier League for promoted clubs, the statistics do not bear this out.
“Over the past decade, over half (17) of the 30 newly promoted clubs [three per season] have successfully retained their Premier League status in that crucial first season. The main priority for all of the promoted clubs will be survival which will require investment on and off the pitch.
“The investment in the playing squad needs to be rational and the contracts need to have in-built protection against the risk of relegation, through variable pay clauses.
“Whilst parachute payments will increase from the 2010-11 season they have risen before, most recently in 2007-08, and yet around two out of every three of those same thirty clubs promoted into the Premier League over the past decade (19 out of 30) achieved this without having the benefit of a parachute payment in their promotion season.
“The Championship is a very competitive division and on-pitch success is based on more than just a club’s financial muscle.”
The deloitte report also points that whilst the sum of money for reaching the Premier League is substantial they highlight that there are solid statistical grounds for believing the League can seriously damage the financial health of clubs after leaving