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.

Huddersfield Town, Forest, Sheffield United and Luton Town completed the top six for the 2021/22 season, meaning those four will do battle in the playoffs for the right to play Premier League football next 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
Season First place Second place Playoff winner
1992/93 Newcastle United West Ham United Swindon Town
1993/94 Crystal Palace Nottingham Forest Leicester City
1994/95 Middlesbrough Reading Bolton Wanderers
1995/96 Sunderland Derby County  Leicester City
1996/97 Bolton Wanderers Barnsley Crystal Palace
1997/98 Nottingham Forest Middlesbrough Charlton Athletic
1998/99 Sunderland Bradford City Watford
1999/2000 Charlton Athletic Manchester City Ipswich Town
2000/01 Fulham Blackburn Rovers Bolton Wanderers
2001/02 Manchester City West Brom Birmingham City
2002/03 Portsmouth Leicester City Wolves
2003/04 Norwich City West Brom Crystal Palace
2004/05 Sunderland Wigan Athletic West Ham United
2005/06 Reading Sheffield United Watford 
2006/07 Sunderland Birmingham City Derby County
2007/08 West Brom Stoke City Hull City
2008/09 Wolves Birmingham City Burnley
2009/10 Newcastle West Brom Blackpool
2010/11 QPR Norwich City Swansea City
2011/12 Reading Southampton West Ham United
2012/13 Cardiff City Hull City Crystal Palace
2013/14 Leicester City Burnley QPR
2014/15 Bournemouth Watford Norwich City
2015/16 Burnley Middlesbrough Hull City
2016/17 Newcastle Brighton & Hove Albion Huddersfield Town
2017/18 Wolves Cardiff City Fulham
2018/19 Norwich City Sheffield United Aston Villa
2019/20 Leeds United West Brom Fulham
2020/21 Norwich City Watford Brentford
2021/22 TBC TBC TBC