It’s only been a week since the Championship fixtures have been announced, but Leeds have already seen a host of fixtures moved.
We already knew their opening fixture at home to Stoke would be televised, but now their first two away games at Derby and Swansea have been shifted to accommodate the Sky Sports cameras.
Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival has obviously piqued the interest of the Sky Sports and this will aid Leeds’ bank balance, just as it did last season.
Leeds’ disappointing 13th place finish last year brought about big changes this summer, with Paul Heckingbottom being sent on his way on June 1.
What last year’s mid-table finish does mean that the richesof the Premier League will have to wait for another year at least, while Wolves, who Radrizzani has looked on at enviously for their transfer model, get ready for trips to Anfield, Old Trafford and the Etihad next season.
The Premier League is the richest league in the world, with each television deal eclipsing the last and helping to make its participants some of the most-coined clubs in the world.
But just how big is the current different between the top two flights of English football? What did Leeds be earn last season for their 13th place finish? And how much did the club earn from Sky Sports?
We crunch the numbers to find out…
Championship prize money
Unlike the Premier League where teams are rewarded for where they finish in the final table, prize money is fixed for each side, regardless of performances.
And it is broken down into two main figures: A ‘basic award’ and a ‘solidarity payment’.
The basic award for last season totals £2.3million (up from £2.084million last year) and was be given from the EFL to every side in the Championship, meaning Wolves, who currently top the league and Sunderland, who propped it up will get that same payment.
This payment comes from the TV deal that the Championship have with Sky Sports.
The solidarity payment comes from the Premier League and is handed out to Championship sides in an effort to ensure that the financial gap between the two divisions does not get too wide. Again, this is distributed equally and will total £4.5million this season – up from £4.3million last year.
So for competing in the Championship last season, Leeds will receive £6.8million in these two payments – as will every other club.
The other third of the Championship cash pie comes from TV money.
In this case, the amounts do differ, and Leeds United are able to cash in here.
The EFL hand out Championship clubs £100,000 for every home game that a club hosts on Sky Sports, with that figure going up to £120,000 for games being played on a Sunday and £140,000 for Thursday games.
Visiting sides are awarded £10,000 per game.
Leeds saw home clashes with Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Wolves televised, with the clash against the Championship leaders making it a total of £640,000 banked by the club for their Elland Road matches.
The remaining 12 away matches up to the Fulham game saw Leeds secure another £120,000, making it a total of £760,000.
This total is higher than the £690,000 that Championship pace-setters Wolves picked up by the end of the season.
When the basic award, the solidarity payment and TV money are added together Leeds earned £7,560,000 from competing in the Championship this season – one of the division’s highest earners, despite their mid-table finish.
How far behind the Premier League is the Championship?
Here’s the sobering part of a Championship club’s income.
The Premier League’s TV deal – as well as dwarfing the Championship’s equivalent – is handed out differently, with a much bigger emphasis being placed on how clubs perform in the table, with each league place almost worth £2million.
Throw in an £84.4million version of their basic award and further cash for each game shown and you will have seen Sunderland, who finished bottom last season earn £99.9million. And that’s before their parachute payments were dished out.
That goes to show the different financial stratosphere that Premier League clubs are working in.
It would take Leeds United 13 seasons like the one they’ve just had to earn what Sunderland made in their final league in the top flight.
And what about League One?
After Sunderland succumbed to relegation this season, they will face another huge financial hit. League One clubs earn a basic award of £732,000 and solidarity payment of £675,000, with TV earnings going from £30,000 for hosting a televised home game and £10,000 for an away one.