Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? City could generate £10 million a year if Wolves in promotion
Promotion to the Premier League for Wolves could generate £10 million a year for Wolverhampton’s economy, a football finance expert has claimed
Dr Daniel Plumley, a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, whose areas of expertise surround the economics and finance of professional team sports, says although the main benefactors of promotion will be the football club, there are knock-on effects for the city too.
“In terms of an exact figure it’s difficult to pinpoint but the ballpark estimates are around £10m across the course of a season,” Dr Plumley said.
“That’s primarily attributed to out-of-town visitors linked to away fans. Playing in a bigger competition, bigger clubs and more supporters come to the city and spend money on match days, which will benefit local businesses.
“If some of those fans – and more of them – choose to stay overnight that also helps.”
As well as generating a feel-good factor within the city, promotion would also open Wolverhampton to a whole new global audience, the expert announced.
“If you look at the Premier League as a product and focus on broadcasting, it’s distributed to around 200 countries worldwide,” he says
“There is certainly a sense of putting a club in a different shop window from an appeal perspective. A lot more people will follow Premier League football than they will the Championship.
“There is an attached positive there from a sense of a global marketplace.”
The club itself would earn a whopping £120m from promotion at a minimum, according to Dr Plumley’s calculations.
He said: “We’re looking at a minimum of £120m based on the current figures. If you take Sunderland from last season, they earned just shy of £100m from broadcasting revenue alone.”
“Then there’s a conservative £20 million estimate for sponsorship and commercial deals. And a little increase perhaps in match day income depending on what teams do with the tickets and where the attendances are.”
However, owing to financial fair play regulations, big-spending Wolves need to end their six-year exile from the top flight this season to avoid running into trouble with football authorities.
“From a financial sense, based on the money they’ve spent, they need to go up. It is a little bit of a gamble against financial fair play regulations, but that gamble looks to be paying off at the minute,” Dr Plumley said.
“If they go up into the Premier League it won’t be any problem financially for them.”
Wolves are currently top of the Championship and are 13 points clear of third-placed Aston Villa with 13 games to go.
By Steve Jones