Championship

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

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
The most lucrative game in football
The most lucrative game in football / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages
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Every season clubs in the second-tier of English football try desperately to reach the promised land of the Premier League.

It is not just the sporting glory that motivates them either. Securing passage into the top-flight also comes with lavish financial reward, with the Championship play-off final regularly being dubbed the most lucrative game in football.

But just how much will this year's showpiece event to Wembley? 90min takes a look...


2021/22 Championship play-off dates

The 46-game Championship season ended on Saturday 7 May. The Championship play-off final will later follow at Wembley on Sunday 29 May.

Huddersfield finished third to set up a semi-final against Luton, while Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United will fight it out in a contest between fourth and fifth.

Championship play-off semi-finals

  • 13 May 2022 - Luton 1-1 Huddersfield (19:45)
  • 14 May 2022 - Sheffield United 1-2 Nottingham Forest (15:00)
  • 16 May 2022 - Huddersfield vs Luton (19:45)
  • 17 May 2022 - Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield United (19:45)

Championship play-off final

  • 29 May 2022 - Luton/Huddersfield vs Sheffield United/Nottingham Forest

How much does the Championship play-off winner earn

There is no denying that winning the Championship play-off final can net a club hundreds of millions of pounds. However, putting an exact figure on the game's worth can be challenging.

Back in 2020, football-finance experts Deloitte estimated that the 2020 iteration was worth an increase of around £130m in revenue, should the winning team manage to avoid relegation the following campaign.

Two years later, the 2022 final is set to be worth even more. This is due to a small increase in both UK-based and overseas broadcasting revenue for the 2022/23 season, meaning the Premier League champions will earn £176m in prize money.

This increase will cascade down the table, rewarding any newly-promoted team that succeed more handsomely than previously.

However, even if the play-off winner does not fare well, they are still guaranteed a much bigger share of the broadcast revenue pie than they would receive in the Championship. Overall there is just over £100m reserved for each side, with more coming depending on how many of their games are selected for live coverage.


Parachute payments

Another reason that the Championship play-off final is so lucrative is parachute payments. These fees are paid to a relegated club over three seasons.

As per the Premier League website, this: "....allows clubs to invest in their teams, and wider operations, in the knowledge that should they be relegated they have provisions in place to re-adjust their finances."

Parachute payments extend the benefits of reaching the Premier League for longer if a team goes straight back down to the second tier.


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