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Leeds United and Southampton compete for the biggest financial prize in world football

  • The winner of Sunday’s Championship Play-Off Final between Leeds United and Southampton will secure the final place in the 2024/25 Premier League;
  • The promoted side stands to receive a revenue uplift of at least £140m across the next three seasons, according to analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group;
  • Whilst the impact this year is somewhat tempered by the fact that both clubs were already in receipt of parachute payments, this figure could rise to c.£305m if the club survives the first season in the Premier League.

This Sunday (26 May 2024), Leeds United and Southampton will go head-to-head in the most valuable single match in world football. Both teams will be hoping to join Leicester City in making an immediate return to the Premier League following their respective relegations at the end of the 2022/23 season, alongside Ipswich Town who have been promoted following a 22-year absence from the topflight.

According to analysis from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, the winning side stands to receive a revenue uplift of at least £140m across the next three seasons. This could rise to more than £305m if the club avoids relegation after their first season in the Premier League.

This analysis is comprised of projected increases in matchday, broadcast and commercial revenue.

The parachute payments that both of this year’s play-off finalists stand to receive, should they remain in the Championship for the 2024/25 season, reduces the revenue uplift associated with promotion. Automatically promoted Ipswich Town, having not competed in the Premier League since 2001/02 and therefore not otherwise due to be in receipt of parachute payments next season,can expect a revenue uplift of at least £200m.

Tim Bridge, lead partner of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “This weekend, Wembley hosts the match with the most lucrative prize in world football. It has been another fiercely competitive season, all leading to Sunday’s play-off final, where one of these teams will walk away with additional revenues of at least £140m over the next three seasons.

“The prize however is not as significant as it has been in previous years, with both sides having recently felt the benefits, including the financial reward, that come with playing in the topflight. Two clubs bolstered by parachute payments are competing in the play-off final for the first time since 2011/12, marking only the second time this has happened since the turn of the Millennium.

“With three of the top four finishing Championship clubs in receipt of parachute payments, the debate over financial distribution across English football and its impact on competitive balance is likely to continue. The cornerstone of English football's success has been the ability of all clubs to compete. Maintaining the unscripted drama, perfectly evidenced by occasions such as the Championship play-off final, is crucial for fans, clubs and governing bodies alike."


Notes to Editors

Finishing position for clubs in the first season following promotion to the Premier League

Note: Clubs in bold avoided relegation in their first season following promotion to the Premier League.

About the Deloitte’s Sports Business Group

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