May 22, 2018 / 12:58 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Villa and Fulham to battle for 'the biggest prize in football'

(Reuters) - Aston Villa and Fulham will be playing for a minimum 160 million pounds ($215.4 million) when they go head-to-head for a place in the Premier League at Wembley Stadium on Saturday in a match often described as the richest in world soccer.

Soccer Football - Championship Play Off Semi Final Second Leg - Fulham vs Derby County - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - May 14, 2018 Fulham players celebrate after the match Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

According to Deloitte Sports Business Group, the winner of the Championship playoff final for the third promotion place 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 Premier League after just one season.

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

Villa were relegated from the top division in 2016 and would receive a third parachute payment next year. However, they will need to forego 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 Premier League is only entitled to two years of parachute payments.

The 2018-19 Premier League campaign will be final season under a 5.1 billion pound domestic TV rights deal signed in 2015.

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

“Whilst sale of domestic rights has so far produced a lower value relative to the current cycle 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 the Premier League’s sale of domestic rights (two smaller packages remain unsold) and international rights.”

($1 = 0.7428 pounds)

Soccer Football - Championship Play Off Semi Final First Leg - Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa - Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, Britain - May 12, 2018 Aston Villa's Mile Jedinak celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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