£170m at stake with 90,000 watching: Derby and Villa head to Wembley for the richest game in sport

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£170m at stake, 90,000 watching and £10m worth of bonuses: Derby and Aston Villa head to Wembley for the richest game in sport… and former Villa owner Randy Lerner is in line for £30m if they go up!

  • Aston Villa meet Derby in the richest game in sport on Monday afternoon 
  • Both clubs know that there is £170million at stake at Wembley Stadium
  • That is more than winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup 
  • Should they win, Derby’s players know that they are in for £10m in bonuses 
  • Former Villa owner Randy Lerner is in line for £30m if his old side win promotion 

It is the single most lucrative game in sport.

Aston Villa and Derby County head to Wembley Stadium for the Championship play-off final full of hope but also fear of missing the £170million carrot available to the victor. 

Forget the Superbowl (£4.9m) or the Champions League final (£16.7m), the Championship finale is 90 minutes that can transform the fortunes of a side in an instant.   

Aston Villa are going into the most lucrative game in sport on Monday at Wembley Stadium

Aston Villa are going into the most lucrative game in sport on Monday at Wembley Stadium

Frank Lampard's Derby County are also 90 minutes away from transforming their finances

Frank Lampard’s Derby County are also 90 minutes away from transforming their finances

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In fact, victory at Wembley on Monday afternoon for either of these two sides is more lucrative than winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League combined.  

If you’re Aston Villa, you take hope and confidence from the regular season meetings with the Rams. 

In two games against Derby, Villa boast a 7-0 aggregate win heading into their third meeting of the season at Wembley. 

Aston Villa were losing finalists last season but have since shown confidence in big games

Aston Villa were losing finalists last season but have since shown confidence in big games

But Villa have lost on five of their last six trips to Wembley with their last win coming four years ago in an FA Cup semi-final win against Liverpool. 

Players will hardly need motivating for the biggest game in the Championship calendar but should they need a pick-me-up, the bonuses on offer should do the trick. 

According to the Sun, Derby’s squad are in line to get £10m in bonuses if they book their place in the Premier League for 2019-20. Should Aston Villa return to the top flight, their players will split a bonus pot of £6m.

It is also worth noting that should Villa come out on top, former owner Randy Lerner would find himself entitled to £30m and a further £10m if they survive for two seasons. 

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The American inserted a clause when he sold the club to Tony Xia in 2016 that he would be due a windfall if they went up within three years. Monday’s game represents the last chance for Lerner to come into £30m from Villa.  

Entrance to the Premier League brings with it significant funds that are otherwise unavailable in lower divisions – particularly due to the mammoth sums for broadcasting rights.   

Every side competing in the Premier League earns £79.4m a season just by being there. This season Huddersfield Town, who finished bottom of the league, earned £93.3m from the Premier League. 

Former Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner is in line for £30m if Villa win at Wembley on Monday

Former Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner is in line for £30m if Villa win at Wembley on Monday

Huddersfield Town, who finished bottom in the Premier League, earned £93.3m this season

Huddersfield Town, who finished bottom in the Premier League, earned £93.3m this season

The latest broadcast rights deal would mean even if either of these sides finish bottom next season, they will still walk away with £110million. 

Staple broadcasters Sky and BT will be joined by Amazon in showing Premier League games next season.  

With Villa the favourites, Derby’s success really would be a slice of history given they just about secured a play-off position. 

Should Derby go up, their 74 points would be the fewest by a promoted side to the Premier League since Crystal Palace back in 2012-13. 

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In reaching Wembley, Villa have scored 84 goals in 48 games while Lampard’s free-flowing Derby have managed 73 in 48. 

Villa were losing finalists last season – missing out to Fulham – but successive play-off final defeats would come at a major cost next season with the club preparing to lose the aid of parachute payments.

The club’s revenues, according to Birmingham Live, have dropped from a high of £108.8m in 2016 to £68.8m last season – with parachute payments set to conclude if they do not go up, that figure is likely to fall to around £50m.

Derby would go up with the fewest number of points since Crystal Palace back in 2012-13

Derby would go up with the fewest number of points since Crystal Palace back in 2012-13

If either side look at the record books, they will see that the 2012 play-off final has gone on to be valued at more than £1billion for winners West Ham.

The east London side have stayed up since beating Blackpool seven years ago and have seen revenues rocket ever since escaping the second tier. 

This jaw-dropping £1bn value on the 2012 win puts into sharp focus the steepness of the stakes as Aston Villa face Derby in this year’s match. 



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