The richest game in world football is not what you…

By Damian Shepherd and David Hellier

Word count: 575

The aristocrats of Liverpool and Real Madrid battled it out for the continent’s biggest trophy in Saturday night’s Champions League final in Paris. But it will be the culmination of England’s second-tier championship in a game between Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium in London the following afternoon that will enrich the winner even more. Forest prevailed in Sunday’s game and are now promoted to the Premier League. the richest competition on the planet. It will play against Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea next season while Huddersfield will remain. According to research by Deloitte LLP, the game will bring in around £170m ($214m) in revenue over the next three seasons and could reach more than £300m in five years if Forest survive relegation.

In the precarious world of football financing, windfall gives clubs the opportunity to invest the money in players and stadium improvements that others dream of. Forest will receive more than £100m in broadcast revenue next season and will have an £80m payment if they end up relegated.

The trick is to make sure they spend enough to stay in the Premier League but don’t financially cripple themselves if they don’t. Of the three teams that were promoted from the championship last season, two were directly relegated.

Forest were European champions in 1979 and 1980 but were absent from the top flight for more than two decades. Huddersfield were last in the Premier League three years ago. Forest had been the bookmakers’ favorite to win.

Read more: English clubs tighten their financial grip on European football

In contrast, taking part in the Champions League final is the pinnacle of European football, but the financial rewards of winning are not that great, certainly for an English club. Last year, six Premier League clubs were involved in the failed European Super League, a Real Madrid-led project that would have taken 15 of the continent’s biggest teams out of the Champions League.

Most of the prize money that Liverpool could have gotten from winning in Paris is already in their pockets, with proceeds pouring in after each round of the tournament. A win could have added a few million pounds more, but only if the club win two more competitions involving the Champions League winners next season – one against the Europa League champions and one with clubs on other continents.

Real Madrid’s road to the final was marked by two impressive late comebacks against two English sides, Chelsea and Manchester City. The Spanish side didn’t need a comeback to beat their English opponents last night and won the game by a single goal.

(updates with Forest’s win in third paragraph)

To contact the authors of this story:
Damian Shepherd in London [email protected]
David Hellier in London [email protected]

© 2022 Bloomberg LP


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