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Crystal Palace Faces Watford in Playoff Worth $181 Million

The playoff between Crystal Palace and Watford will earn the winner about 120 million pounds ($181 million) when it is promoted from English soccer’s Championship, according to accountant Deloitte LLP.

The Eagles and Hornets meet at Wembley Stadium in London in three days, with the winner earning a spot in the Premier League for next season. The victor joins Cardiff City and Hull City, who were automatically promoted as the top two finishers in the Championship, in moving up to England’s top division.

Teams promoted to the world’s richest soccer league can expect a revenue increase of more than 60 million pounds in 2013-14, Deloitte estimates. Approximately 55 million pounds of that comes from the Premier League’s 3.02 billion-pound television contract that begins next season.

Clubs also receive a minimum 60 million pounds over the following four seasons if they drop straight back down. Over the past decade, 17 of the 30 promoted teams have managed to remain in the Premier League after their first season.

“The continued increase in the value of promotion to the Premier League provides newly promoted clubs the opportunity to make strategic investment on and off the pitch,” Adam Bull, senior consultant in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said in a statement. “Inevitably, the short-term priority is usually investment in the playing side of the business, but clubs need to also look to the medium and long-term.”

Crystal Palace, which finished fifth this year, last played in the Premier League in the 2004-05 season. Watford, which finished five points head of Palace in third, was relegated from the top flight in 2007.

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