LONDON (AP) — Dubbed the most lucrative match in club football, Saturday's Championship playoff final between Queens Park Rangers and Derby is staying faithful to its reputation.
The match at Wembley will decide which club will play in the Premier League next season, a spot worth at least 120 million pounds ($202 million) to Derby and at least 80 million pounds ($135 million) to Queens Park Rangers, according to the sports industry group at consultants Deloitte.
Derby is hoping to return to the topflight after a six-year absence while QPR is bidding for an immediate return to the Premier League. Championship winner Leicester and runner-up Burnley have already been promoted automatically.
QPR's payday would be lower because the club is still benefiting from parachute payments following its relegation last season.
"Over the past decade the value of promotion to the top flight has increased three-fold," Deloitte consultant Adam Bull said. "This is largely due to the increase in broadcast income and greater parachute payments, both in terms of value and length."
A victory for Derby would also mark the renaissance of former England coach Steve McCLaren, now in charge of the Rams.
McClaren, who succeeded Sven-Goran Eriksson as England manager in 2006, was fired from the national job after less than two years in charge after the team failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship.
McClaren has since enjoyed mixed fortunes, coaching teams in England, the Netherlands and the Bundesliga. He started the current season at QPR as an assistant coach to Harry Redknapp before taking over at Derby in September when Nigel Clough was sacked.
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