Leeds vs Southampton: Why Championship Final Is the Richest Game in Football

Leeds vs Southampton: Why Championship Final Is the Richest Game in Football

Martin Moses
updated at May 26, 2024 at 7:51 AM
In this article:
Leeds United logo
Leeds United
Southampton logo
  • Leeds United will face Southampton in the Championship play-off final on May 26
  • Only one of the teams will get promoted to the English Premier League next season
  • Sports Brief explains why the game is usually referred to as the richest in football

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One of Leeds United or Southampton will have a chance to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking when they square off at the 2024 Championship play-off final.

The two teams will meet at Wembley on May 26, looking to bring to an end a gruelling 49-game season in the second-tier of English football.

Daniel Farke, Leeds United vs Southampton, why Championship final is the richest game in football
Leeds United boss Daniel Farke celebrates at full time after the Championship play-off semi-final 2nd Leg match against Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA.
Source: Getty Images

The winner will join Leicester City and Ipswich Town in the Premier League next season.

Ahead of the final, Sports Brief looks at why the championship final is often dubbed the 'richest game in football'.

It is rather ironic that the one-off game in a season in the second-fiddle competition attracts much interest and money. It is not as lucrative as winning the Champions League or World Cup final, but the monetary benefits that stem from winning that game are huge.

It is important to note that the benefits do not come on that day specifically but are long-term once the team secures their spot in the Premier League. Sporting News reports that the Championship winner usually only gets 100,000 pounds, with the runners-up getting 50,000 pounds from the EFL.

How much Premier League clubs earn

The long-term benefits come from the guaranteed payout Premier League clubs get from the huge TV revenue. The said revenue is always first divided equally amongst all teams, irrespective of where one finished the season. Afterwards, the position (according to merit) is taken into account, plus the number of televised games each club had during the season.

The Mirror reports that last season, each position was worth £3.1m, which meant the champion, Manchester City, earned £62.3m from merit calculations.

Why Championship final is the richest game in football

At the end of this, each EPL side, even the one that finished 20th and got relegated, gets at least £100m, which, when compared to the £7m clubs in the Championship get, is a huge difference. This is why there is everything to play for in the Championship final.

Aside from this, the Premier League also has 'parachute payments', which were introduced to buffer teams that suffered relegation.

As Sports Brief reported last year, teams that get relegated after more than one season in the Premier League are given a share of the revenue with a 55%-45%-20% formula for the next three seasons to maintain their operational costs. The percentages are what they were supposed to get in revenue if they were in the Premier League.

How Man United's FA Cup win has affected Europe

Sports Brief has also reported about the English teams that have qualified for Europe next season.

Manchester United pulled off a surprise to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25.

The result determined saw Erik ten Hag's side qualify for the Europa League despite finishing eighth in the Premier League.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)