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£180 million jackpot for Brighton and Hove if Albion reach Premiership
Promotion to the Premiership would be worth up to £120 million to Albion and more than £60 million to the city each year.
Industry experts told The Argus that even an unsuccessful run in the play-offs could be worth up to £10 million to the club as a small compensation for missing out on the top flight.
After the victory at Leeds on Saturday, Albion are now just three play-off games away from the riches of the Premiership.
Club bosses believe the economic boost from promotion could be even greater for Brighton than Swansea’s £60 million bonanza from their ascent in 2011.
Hoteliers, restaurant owners and pub landlords would all benefit from the Seagulls reaching the top tier of the Football League.
The club are expecting the first ever crowd in excess of 30,000 at the American Express Community Stadium when the club host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Aaron Gourley, deputy editor of FC Business magazine, which specialises in the business of football, said defeat at Wembley could be worth up to £10 million while victory and promotion would be worth up to £120 million.
The semi-final games combined, analysts believe, would be worth £4 million in gate receipts, TV revenue and merchandise while the club could pocket the entire gate receipts from the final if they were to lose.
However, this pales into insignificance compared to the riches earned from the Premiership next year, which would be worth £120 million.
A new TV deal will mean clubs are guaranteed at least £55 million next season while experts believe the club would also be able to increase sponsorship, hospitality and ticket sales, especially for high-profile matches against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Albion chief executive Paul Barber spoke to The Argus about the recent report by Cardiff Business School revealing the £60 million boost to Swansea’s economy after the Welsh club’s first year in the Premiership.
He said: “I suspect with Brighton it could be even bigger than that because, with the greatest respect to Swansea, we are probably more of a destination.
“We employ a lot of people, we generate a lot of income, we put people in hotel beds, restaurants, bars, the transport system, you name it, so I think we are a very important part of the local economy.”
Albion president Dick Knight said the club’s current success meant so much more because of where the club had come from.
He celebrated Albion clinching the play-off spot on Saturday in the away end at Elland Road with fans as well as his son and grandsons.
He said: “I always knew the potential we had in the club.
“The success we are having now is so much more meaningful because of where we have come from.”
See all The Argus coverage as Albion reach the play-offs here: www.theargus.co.uk/news/indepth/albionplayoffs
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