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Finalists Compete for Soccer’s ‘Biggest Financial Prize’

Monday, 27 May 2013 | 1:47 AM ET
Alex Livesey | Getty Images

The winner of England's Football League Championship will come away 120 million pounds ($181 million) richer, according to sports business analysts who called it "the biggest financial prize in football".

"The Football League Championship play-off final on Monday 27 May will offer the biggest financial prize in world football, worth around 120 million pounds to the winners," said analysts in the sports business group at professional services firm Deloitte, in a news release.

Crystal Palace will play Watford in the Championship play-off and the winner will gain automatic admittance to England's Premier League of top 20 soccer clubs – a feat worth 120 million pounds, according to Deloitte.

(Read More: Europe's Richest Soccer Clubs)

The analysts said promotion to the Premier League would boost either Crystal Palace's or Watford's income by over 60 million pounds ($90 million) during the next soccer season.

"The vast majority of this uplift, approximately 55 million pounds, will be from broadcast income, as the Premier League enters the first year of its greatly enhanced three-year TV deals. Based on existing distribution methods,even if a club is relegated after one season in the Premier League, it will been titled to parachute payments over the following four seasons of around 60 million pounds," wrote Adam Bull, senior consultant at Deloitte.

Bull noted that the value of Premier League promotion has increased three-fold over the past decade, due to an increase in broadcast income, and an increase in both the value and length of parachute payments.

"The continued increase in the value of promotion to the Premier League provides newly promoted clubs with the opportunity to make strategic investments, on and off the pitch. 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," he said.

(Read More: Rangers FC—The Best Investment in Soccer?)

Bull addedthat newly promoted clubs are often bookies' favorites to be relegated, butthat of the 30 clubs promoted over the last decade, 17 had retained theirPremier League status beyond the "crucial" first season.

Crystal Palace hopes to return to the Premier League after an eight-year absence, while Watford is bidding for a spot for the first time since 2007. The successful club will join champion Cardiff City and runner-up Hull City, which both secured automatic promotion earlier in May.

The Championship play-off will take place at 3 p.m. U.K. time in London's Wembley stadium.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato

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