Middlesbrough struck it rich as they were promoted to the Premier League after a 1-1 draw in their £170 million ($246 million) shoot-out with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Aitor Karanka’s side survived a nervous encounter at the Riverside Stadium to end their seven-year exile from the top flight and bank the huge cash windfall due to Premier League clubs as a result of the new television contracts that kick in next season.
Football finance expert Deloitte revealed that Middlesbrough will benefit from future additional revenue of at least 170 million pounds ($246 million) compared to what they would generate if not promoted.
This is based on a combination of extra revenue attained from playing in the Premier League next season (at least $140 million) and guaranteed “parachute payments” in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons if they are relegated after one season ($110 million across the two seasons).
That is about 40 million pounds ($58 million) more than in 2015, because of the Premier League’s new television rights deals.
The increase in revenue for the promoted team could rise to in excess of $420 million if it survives the first season in the Premier League, Deloitte said.
Needing just one point from their last game of the Championship season to guarantee they would finish above third-placed Brighton on goal difference, second-placed Middlesbrough took the lead through Christian Stuani’s first-half strike.
Middlesbrough started the day with a chance of lifting the Championship title as well as securing a place among the elite, but had to settle for second after already promoted leaders Burnley swept to a 3-0 victory at relegated Charlton Athletic.
It was still a glorious end to a turbulent 12 months for Middlesbrough and a region recently blighted by redundancies in the steel industry.
This time last year, Karanka’s team were heading into a play-off campaign that would end with a final defeat against Norwich City.
When Middlesbrough endured a miserable run in March this year, it briefly seemed Karanka would quit after the Spaniard stormed away from showdown talks with his under-performing squad.
Karanka, a former Real Madrid assistant to Jose Mourinho, missed the next match before returning to the club and rebuilding his relationship with his players well enough to lead them to promotion.
“I’ve been coach for two and a half years. I can’t be more proud of this group of players, this crowd and this chairman. It’s amazing,” Karanka said.
“When I arrived here, some people said I was crazy when I said my aim was to take this club back to the Premier League. Two and a half years later, we are in the Premier League.”
After the misery of failing to clinch promotion at the first attempt, Brighton have to pick themselves up in time for their play-off semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday.
Karanka’s men drew first blood in the 19th minute when Gaston Ramirez lofted a free-kick towards David Nugent, who cushioned the ball back across goal for Stuani to tap in from close range for his first goal since December.
With a draw no use to Brighton, the visitors would have to become the first team to score twice at the Riverside this season if they were to return to the top flight after a 33-year absence.
Stuani had surprisingly been selected ahead of former Liverpool and England winger Stewart Downing and Karanka’s bold gamble was paying rich dividends.
Middlesbrough hasn’t been in the Premier League since 2009, when its 11-year stay in the top flight was ended by relegation