Aston Villa, Fulham to battle for “biggest prize’’ in football

Former Aston Villa players 

Aston Villa and Fulham will be playing for a minimum of 160 million pounds when they go head-to-head for a place in the English Premier League at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The battle for the final English Premier League slot has often been described as the richest in world football.

According to Deloitte Sports Business Group, the winner of the Championship playoff final can finish bottom of the top-flight next season and still benefit from lucrative broadcasting deals and parachute payments.

“All eyes will be on Wembley on Saturday afternoon for this winner-takes-all clash,” Dan Jones, partner and head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said in a statement.

“It will be, as ever, a fantastic advert for the competitive intensity of the Championship and the financial attraction of the Premier League.”

Fulham can expect to earn up to 170 million pounds over three seasons if they are relegated from the English Premier League after just one season.

That breaks down to a minimum of 95 million pounds, mostly from English Premier League’s central payments, and approximately 75 million pounds in parachute payments in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Aston Villa were relegated from the top division in 2016 and will receive a third parachute payment next year.

However, they will need to forgo that amount should they get promoted, meaning their minimum net uplift would be 160 million pounds.

The change from three to two years of parachute payments was enforced from the 2016-17 season.

This means that any club that gets relegated after just one season in the English Premier League is only entitled to two years of parachute payments.

The 2018-2019 English Premier League campaign will be final season under a 5.1 billion pounds domestic TV rights deal signed in 2015.

The value of the broadcasting rights have since dropped after the English Premier League sold the majority of the packages for the next cycle for almost 4.5 billion pounds in February.

“We expect the combined value of domestic and international rights to remain at a healthy premium across 2019 to 2022 to any other football league,” Jones added.

“The value of rights for the next cycle should reach current levels after the conclusion of English Premier League’s sale of domestic rights (two smaller packages remain unsold) and international rights.”(Reuters/NAN)