Play-off race goes to the final day as Championship clubs chase £90 million promotion prize


leicester-flagFive Championship clubs entered the final round of games still in contention for promotion through the Play-offs. Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City and Leicester City were all guaranteed a Play-off spot, with Blackpool and Swansea City going into the last day  to gain their place.

Paul Rawnsley, Director of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “The Championship Play-off Final winners will benefit from at least £40m of additional revenue in 2010/11, the vast majority of this coming from television income and the rest from higher gate receipts and increased commercial income. In addition, even if a club is relegated after one year in the Premier League, parachute payments may be received over the following four seasons of up to £48m.”

Commenting on the Football League Championship Play-off Final, Rawnsley added: “In financial terms, this 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, said: “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 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.”

Byars added: “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.”

After the end of the current season, the 19th edition of the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance will be published, providing analysis of football’s finances in England and around Europe.

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