How much prize money do the EFL Championship playoff winners get, and is the 'richest game in football' a myth?

How much prize money do the EFL Championship playoff winners get, and is the 'richest game in football' a myth?

A place in the Premier League promised land will be on offer in the coming weeks as four EFL Championship sides battle it out via the playoffs.

Marco Silva’s Fulham have already secured an immediate return to the top flight, and they will be joined by Bournemouth, whose victory over Nottingham Forest ensured they will finish second.

Forest and Huddersfield Town have two of the four playoff places sewn up, meaning Sheffield United, Luton Town, Middlesbrough and Millwall will battle it out for the remaining two top-six spots on the final day of the regular season.

MORE: When is the EFL Championship playoff final? Full playoff fixture schedule, bracket, results, TV channel

How much prize money will the Championship playoff final winners get?

The Championship playoff final is often dubbed the ‘richest game in football’ due to the financial incentives on offer for the winners.

However, the financial injection does not come directly from either the EFL or the Premier League, with the Championship title-winners receiving £100,000 ($125,000) and second place pocketing £50,000 ($62,000).

The playoff winners’ monetary motivation comes from TV rights, sponsorship deals and new revenue streams as a result of their new status.

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Previous estimates broadly place the figure at £100 million ($125m) as an ‘immediate’ cash win, but figures vary year-on-year and continue to rise despite concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic causing it to reduce during 2022/23.

TV revenue alone is estimated at £3.1 billion ($3.9 billion) a season in the Premier League, with a minimum payment of £100m ($125m) for the lowest-ranked team in the division, in comparison to £7m ($8m) per club in the Championship.

Figures from Deloitte in 2020 estimated an increase in overall club revenue from £135m ($170m) to £265m ($333m), depending on non-TV agreements, with 2022 calculations placing it closer to £200m ($225m) as a base line.

How do Premier League parachute payments work?

If a newly promoted team survives a season in the Premier League, they are boosted by an additional financial bonus, depending on the final position.

The Premier League distributes prize money for each team in the top flight at the end of the campaign, with even the side in 17th picking up an estimated £7m ($8.8m).

However, in certain circumstances, clubs relegated back down to the Championship are saved from financial ruin, as ‘parachute payments’ break their fall.

Sheffield United Premier League relegation 2020-21

Parachute payments are drawn from the Premier League’s ‘Equal Share’ dividend of TV revenue, divided between the 20 top-flight clubs, alongside their individual fees for live matches.

Relegated sides receive an initial 55 per cent share of what they would have picked up in their first season back in the Championship.

That figure drops to 45 percent in the second year, and to 20 percent in the third, but only if the team in question spent more than one season in the Premier League.

Which teams have been promoted via the EFL Championship playoffs?

Championship promotions since 1992
SeasonFirst placeSecond placePlayoff winner
1992/93Newcastle UnitedWest Ham UnitedSwindon Town
1993/94Crystal PalaceNottingham ForestLeicester City
1994/95MiddlesbroughReadingBolton Wanderers
1995/96SunderlandDerby County Leicester City
1996/97Bolton WanderersBarnsleyCrystal Palace
1997/98Nottingham ForestMiddlesbroughCharlton Athletic
1998/99SunderlandBradford CityWatford
1999/2000Charlton AthleticManchester CityIpswich Town
2000/01FulhamBlackburn RoversBolton Wanderers
2001/02Manchester CityWest BromBirmingham City
2002/03PortsmouthLeicester CityWolves
2003/04Norwich CityWest BromCrystal Palace
2004/05SunderlandWigan AthleticWest Ham United
2005/06ReadingSheffield UnitedWatford 
2006/07SunderlandBirmingham CityDerby County
2007/08West BromStoke CityHull City
2008/09WolvesBirmingham CityBurnley
2009/10NewcastleWest BromBlackpool
2010/11QPRNorwich CitySwansea City
2011/12ReadingSouthamptonWest Ham United
2012/13Cardiff CityHull CityCrystal Palace
2013/14Leicester CityBurnleyQPR
2014/15BournemouthWatfordNorwich City
2015/16BurnleyMiddlesbroughHull City
2016/17NewcastleBrighton & Hove AlbionHuddersfield Town
2017/18WolvesCardiff CityFulham
2018/19Norwich CitySheffield UnitedAston Villa
2019/20Leeds UnitedWest BromFulham
2020/21Norwich CityWatfordBrentford