The amazing £169m divide between Premier League in England and Scotland
The Premier League this coming season sees a significant north/south divide.
Newcastle’s closest away trips are to Burnley and Huddersfield, with then the two Manchester clubs and two Merseyside ones, next nearest.
After that you looking at Leicester, West Brom and Stoke, before London and the likes of Bournemouth, Swansea and Southampton.
There is another dramatic north/south divide that is growing ever bigger and that is the one either side of Hadrian’s Wall.
The play-off game at Wembley that decides who goes up into the English Premier League, is given an ever higher price tag each season.
On Monday, the media and football finance experts were generally agreed on the winner of Reading v Huddersfield getting a £170m boost if promoted.
Only 24 hours before that Wembley clash, there was one north of the border, as promotion to the Scottish Premier League was decided on Sunday between Hamilton and Dundee United.
Dundee United were the ones who missed out, as Hamilton can look forward to the riches of the Scottish Premier League…
It is estimated that promotion will be worth ‘between £700,000 and £1m’.
It is easy to forget just how quickly we have become used to the levels of cash in English top flight football.
The bottom line is all around the world everybody wants to watch English football and nobody has any interest in Scotland – especially when either Celtic or Rangers is so dominant, as is the case at the minute.
Who knows what the future holds for Huddersfield as that £170m leap forward gives them every chance of competing, just as Bournemouth, Swansea and others have proved.
As for Hamilton, they must be looking southwards with envy, as they wonder what to spend their £1m on…
Football finance expert Neil Patey, who is a partner at Ernst and Young:
“The prize money difference between the Championship and the Premiership is a big factor.
“Assuming the club would stay up, the difference between finishing second or third in the Championship and a sixth to 11th-placed position in the Premiership is between £700,000 and £1m.
“The club would have benefited from better attendances and not just for the derby as the ground would have been hosting Premiership teams rather than Championship teams.
“I would also have hoped for a pick-up in season ticket sales with people more prepared to part with their cash for Premiership football.”
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