It might be hard to believe but we’re not talking about a UEFA Champions League final nor a World Cup final. The “richest game in the World” is in fact the Championship Playoff Final, where the 90 minutes being played will end up deciding who takes the last spot in the English Premier League from next season. In 2013, both the direct and indirect revenue estimates for the club who comes out with a win in the Wembley final are around a minimum of 140 million pounds (even if the teams finishes last in the standings) and that doesn’t include sponsorship agreements, ticket revenues and merchandise sales!
Few certainly would have guessed that the sports event on which more money is at stake takes place in England and has two teams from the “Football League Championship” (the second-highest division overall in England, right after the English Premier League). The game is held on a majestic stadium in Wembley, precisely the second largest stadium in Europe, with a maximum capacity to host 105.000 fans (combining both seating and standing). It’s one of those cases where it’s fair to say that the winner takes it all, as there is only one slot left to be filled for the English Premier League next season.
The enormous prize-money destined to the winner of this game finds its bigger contribution coming the TV deals made with the English Premier League, from which even the team who finishes at the bottom of the league next season will be sure to at least cash-in 63 million pounds. The English Premier League is by far the most seen football league in the World and even though it doesn’t count with the two biggest stars of the moment, Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi, it’s the competitiveness, the intensity and especially the gigantic fan base spread across every corner in the world that makes this league so interesting and appealing for investors.
This past weekend, Crystal Palace and Watford fought for their own personal holy grail in the Championship Playoff Final, and it was Palace who got the better off their opponents, with a narrow but more than enough 1-0 win. The club’s co-chairman, Steve Parish, already predicted a boost in tickets selling ranging between 70 to 80 million pounds.