Play-off final 2017: Huddersfield and Reading battle for £290m promotion prize in football's richest game

Joe Hall
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Reading play-offs
Reading celebrate reaching football's most valuable game (Source: Getty)

Winning the Championship play-off final could be worth more than £290m to either Huddersfield or Reading, who do battle for promotion to the Premier League on Monday.

Victory in football’s richest game will guarantee either club at least £170m in future revenues, a figure Deloitte estimate could rise beyond £290m should the winner extend their stay in the top flight beyond a single season.

Should either the Royals or the Terriers plummet back out of the league at the first attempt, however, they will still have earned at least £95m — primarily thanks to the league’s lavish broadcast payments — and will receive at least £75m in parachute payments over the next two seasons.

Read more: Here's how much money Manchester United made for winning the Europa League?

Reading, recently taken over by Chinese siblings Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, are aiming to reach the Premier League for a third time having last been relegated in 2013, while Huddersfield are playing for their first ever season in the division.

They both stand to earn more money from their Wembley showdown than any previous winner in history, the Premier League's £8bn broadcasting contracts which came into effect this season.

Last year's winner, Hull City, made just £110m as they were already the beneficiaries of parachute payments from their stint in the Premier League between 2013 - 2015.

If promoted, they will join Brighton and Hove Albion and Championship winners Newcastle in making the leap into the top flight.

Newcastle, however, can only bank £120m over the next three seasons as, like Hull last season, they have already benefited from parachute payments following their relegation from the Premier League last year.

Year Play-off winner Money won
2006 Watford £40m
2007 Derby £60m
2008 Hull City £60m
2009 Burnley £90m
2010 Blackpool £90m
2011 Swansea £90m
2012 West Ham £45m
2013 Crystal Palace £120m
2014 QPR £80m
2015 Norwich £120m
2016 Hull £110m
2017 Reading/Huddersfield £170m

History suggests that the chances of the three promoted clubs staying in the league for more than a season are strong.

Deloitte calculates that of the 30 teams promoted over the last decade, 18 — 60 per cent — have survived in their first season in the top tier.

Yet despite the promise of parachute payments should they buck the trend, there is no guarantee of a swift return.

"Over the many years we've looked at whether there's a correlation between parachute payments and Championship performance on the assumption there's a correlation," senior manager at Deloitte's Sports Business Group Adam Bull told City A.M.

"But actually, there isn't. When a club comes out of the Premier League they come with a high cost base and they have to reorganise the club.

"It's spread throughout the league, some clubs sometimes even get relegated with parachute payments."

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