Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Why is the Championship Playoff final the richest game in soccer?

The winner not only gets a ticket to the Premier League, but also a huge financial boost.

The winner not only gets a ticket to the Premier League, but also a huge financial boost.
Jason CairnduffAction Images via Reuters

As Leeds United winger Crysencio Summerville tapped the ball past Norwich’s goalkeeper to make the game 4-0, the club knew they were finally on their way to Wembley to play in the Championship Playoff final. The one-off game at England’s most famous ground is the last-chance saloon for one final team to get to the Premier League from the second division.

While a place in the top division of English football may seem like a huge carrot on the end of the stick, the financial rewards for the so-called ‘richest game in football’ are also extremely enticing.

Which teams will play in the Premier League next season?

In the Championship, the two teams that finished first and second (this year it was Leicester and Ipswich) are promoted automatically, while the teams that finished third to sixth (Leeds, Southampton, West Brom and Norwich) must face each other in the playoffs.

To reach the final, teams have to play a semi-final over 2 legs, with one game at home and the other away. The winner of each game on aggregate seals their place at Wembley to play in the final. This year, Leeds and Norwich drew 0-0 at Carrow Road before Leeds returned home and thumped their opponents 4-0. Southampton and West Brom also played out a goalless draw in the first leg, with the return game to be played on Friday 17 May at St Mary’s Stadium on the south coast.

When is the Championship playoff final?

The game, which will be played between Leeds United and one of either Southampton or West Brom, will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday May 26 and will kick-off at 3pm local time, which is 10am ET and 7am PT.

Los jugadores del Luton Town celebran la victoria en la tanda de penaltis.
Full screen
Luton Town reached the Premier League last season via the playoffs.ADRIAN DENNISAFP

How much does the winner of the Championship Playoff final receive in prize money?

The winner of the game, according to the official Wembley website, “receives around £100 million ($127m) upon promotion to the Premier League” with the number “almost [doubling] if the Club remains in the league for a season.”

Premier League:

As well as this, it is estimated that a reward of £265m ($470m) is given to the winners in TV deals, sponsorship and additional revenue streams.

And the money doesn’t stop there: Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, say that the winner receives a further £170 million ($211 million) across three seasons through “projected increases to their own commercial and matchday revenues and secured central Premier League revenues” which increases to $360 million (£290 million) if the club avoids relegation in its first season. A bucket full of cash and a ticket to the Premier League? It’s no wonder there is so much pressure on the teams that end up in the gruelling postseason of England’s second division.