Huddersfield Town and Reading will be playing for a minimum of 170 million pounds ($217.5 million) when they compete for a place in English football’s Premier League at Wembley on Monday in a match regularly described as the richest in the global game.
Lucrative television contracts domestically and throughout the world mean that whichever team wins the Championship playoff for the third promotion place can finish bottom of the league next season and still be guaranteed at least 95 million pounds, plus 75 million pounds in so-called parachute payments.
“(Parachute) payments are made over four years, allowing clubs to gear down and where necessary reduce their costs over a medium-term period,” the Premier League’s website (www.premierleague.com) says.
Staying up for even one season is worth a further 100 million pounds, without taking into consideration increased sponsorship and gate receipts.
Huddersfield, English champions for three years in succession from 1924-26, have not played in the top tier since 1972.
Having finished in the bottom six last season, they became surprised promotion contenders under German-American manager David Wagner, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in 2015.
Reading, who finished third in the Championship this season under former Dutch international Jaap Stam, reached the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2006, lasting two seasons. The club was promoted again in 2012 but managed only a single season in the top flight.
Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion have already gained automatic promotion from the Championship, finishing first and second respectively.