£280m winner: Villa and Fulham fight for biggest cash prize in world football

PL money ball

May 22 – The winner of Saturday’s Champions League final, the most prestigious club competition in Europe, will walk away with €15.5 million in prize money.  The winner of the EFL Championship play-off for the Premier League – that takes place earlier in the afternoon between Aston Villa and Fulham – will win the biggest cash prize in world football with a whopping revenue of boost of at least £160 million over three seasons, rising to more than £280 million if they avoid relegation in their first season in the Premier League.

Aston Villa and Fulham will battle it for what accountancy and financial advisory firm Deloitte says is the biggest prize in world football.

Dan Jones, Partner and Head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Whilst in football terms the UEFA Champions League Final is the bigger game, the financial rewards on offer in Kiev are dwarfed by those at stake in North London. The difference between winning and losing for Liverpool this weekend, is a mere £4 million in distributions from UEFA (with any inbound sponsor bonuses likely to be at least in part offset by outgoing player and management bonuses) and they are already assured of appearing in next year’s competition.”

The cash windfall is predominantly the result of the Premier League’s massive broadcast rights deals. Deloittes point out that the “2018/19 is the final year of the current three-year broadcast rights cycle, which has provided the Premier League with an additional £1 billion per season compared to the previous cycle ending in 2016. In February, the Premier League sold the majority of domestic broadcast rights for the next cycle (starting with the 2019/20 season) for almost £4.5 billion.”

Jones points out that while the broadcast rights deals for the UK market of the next three-year cycle are slightly lower so far (£4.5 billion vs £5.4 billion), he says that he expects the sale of the two remaining UK packages and the international broadcast sales to maintain a “healthy premium” for the next rights cycle.

Once in the Premier League the task is surviving. Both Fulham and Aston Villa, as well as already promoted Cardiff City, have benefitted from parachute payments this season. Deloittes point out that “in the last 10 seasons to 2017/18, 20 (67%) of the 30 clubs promoted to the Premier League have avoided relegation in their first season. Last season was the first in seven years where all three of the promoted clubs avoided first-year relegation.”

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