Sheffield Wednesday: Owls gear up for Â£170m promotion battle
Financial analysts Deloitte say Sheffield Wednesday will pocket a minimum of Â£170m should they secure promotion to the Premier League this weekend.
The Owls and Yorkshire neighbours Hull City will battle it out in the richest match in world football when they collide at Wembley in the Championship Play-Off Final on Saturday.
It promises to be the most lucrative ever Play-Off Final, with the new £5.14 billion three-year television deal set to kick in from next season.
Speaking in an interview with iSportconnect, Richard Battle, the senior manager in Deloitte’s sports business group, said: “For any football team, getting to the Premier League has a great deal of sporting merit regardless of the financial implications attached to it.
“It is without question the Play-Off Final worth more than any Play-Off Final before it, in terms of the incremental revenue uplift that whoever wins it will receive based on playing next season in the Premier League and getting at least two years of parachutes - if they leave the Premier League.
“For Sheffield Wednesday, we’re looking at incremental revenue uplift of around £170 million, with Hull we’re looking at £110 million as they are entitled to parachute payments and will continue to receive these if they don’t go up to the Premier League.”
The £170m is made up of a minimum £95m for one year in the Premier League, plus £75m-worth of parachute payments across the following two seasons should they go down. If the promoted club avoids relegation in its first season in the top-flight, Deloitte claim the revenue figure would rise to at least £290m.
Clubs are guaranteed a minimum of £40m more than was the case a year ago because of the new television rights deal.
There is no hiding the fact that the prize at stake in the showpiece fixture is huge, but Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal insists he is more concerned with competing for honours.
“I played football for a long time and the things that I remember is not the money, but the good moments when we played important games and when we reached cup finals,” said Carvalhal, a centre-back during his playing days. “These things are more than money, they make us stay in the history of the club. We are making history. It is something important and the players deserve it absolutely.”
Carvalhal has impressed since becoming Wednesday’s boss last June, leading the team to a top-six finish and the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.
As well as suffering just two defeats on home soil all season, the Owls found the back of the net 66 times, opening the scoring in 21 of their 46 matches during the regular season.
Wednesday booked their slot in the Final after beating Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 on aggregate in the Semi-Finals.
For the full Battle interview, log on to http://isportconnect.com