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Brentford, Fulham Have Huge Financial Stakes in Promotion Playoff Final

LONDON (AP) — Brentford can earn more than $200 million over three years in additional revenue by beating west London rival Fulham on Tuesday to secure a return to English football’s top division after a 73-year absence, according to an analysis by accountancy firm Deloitte.

The League Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium is the most valuable single match in world football because it earns a place in the Premier League.

The additional 160 million pounds ($208 million) Brentford could earn is made up of an estimated 85 million pounds in central broadcasting distributions, and parachute payments over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons of 75 million pounds if it is relegated after a single season in the Premier League, Deloitte said.

If Brentford survives its first season, the additional revenue would rise to 265 million pounds ($345 million) over five years.

The club, which last played in the top tier in the 1946-47 season, is moving into a new 17,250-seat stadium.

Fulham would receive around 135 million pounds over three years if it’s promoted. The amount is reduced because Fulham is currently in receipt of parachute payments after its relegation to the Championship in 2019.

The playoff final should have been staged in May but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Clubs have been hit by a lack of match-day revenue with games closed to fans since the restart in June.

“Given the recent impact of COVID-19, it is likely that the financial impact of promotion will be better received than ever before,” said Tim Bridge of Deloitte’s sports business group. “The increased revenue provides these clubs with the platform from which they can develop on and off the pitch.”