The play-off final is massive for any set of supporters but for Aston Villa fans, they are very much standing on a knife edge.
Beating Fulham would see them back in the Premier League and on the way back…but defeat could very well see them doing a Leeds.
Parachute payments see relegated clubs receiving a percentage of their final earnings in the Premier League in which they were relegated.
It used to be fairly evenly spread over three years but it was then changed to be very much front loaded, to give relegated clubs the very best chance of bouncing straight back.
So you get 55% (of their 2015/16 PL/TV earnings) in the first year, 45% in year two and 20% in the final year.
So in cash terms that has meant over £41m in the 2016/17 season, over £34m in 2017/18, but if staying down this time, only around £15m next season.
This past week saw Mike Ashley put Lee Charnley up for an interview, where the Ashley minion claimed that it was a one season gamble for Newcastle to try and get promoted. However, the reality is that as Villa have shown, you really get two chances/seasons to come back up before you can be in real trouble.
It was 24 May 2009 when Aston Villa fans really embarrassed themselves, out of nowhere they en masse celebrated the relegation of a club that they had no real connection with.
Driving away from Villa Park that day, myself and many others knew that from this point on, we would always be keeping an occasional eye on the fortunes of their club.
Now it could be real delivery time for Aston Villa fans.
Even Steve Bruce has admitted it is set to be a scene of devastation this summer if Villa lose to Fulham.
For starters, their five loan players: Sam Johnstone, Axel Tuanzebe, Robert Snodgrass, Josh Onomah and Lewis Grabban will all have to go back to their parent clubs with no/little chance of signing them. Whilst the likes of John Terry and Jack Grealish would almost certainly exit as well.
Costs would need to be slashed and players offloaded, making them long odds against having any chance of promotion in 2018/19 and beyond…
“I am sure it (the future of the club) will be totally different (if losing at Wembley).
“The five loan signings for a start…I don’t think we will be able to get them back.
“I am sure it would (all) change, it will have to.
“There has to be a loser.
“If it is us then we have to regroup, rebuild and go again.
“Difficult times ahead but then again, last summer was difficult.
“We had to balance the books and I am sure we would have to do the same again.”
Well, if/when Aston Villa fans see their team lose today, myself and many other Newcastle supporters will raise a glass and celebrate the fact.
It might have been nine years and two days ago but revenge is best served cold.
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