Bournemouth & Watford: Premier League promotion worth £120m

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport
'Something that lives with you forever'

Promotion to the Premier League will be worth £120m to both Watford and Bournemouth, according to leading football finance experts.

Watford earned promotion on Saturday and the Cherries all but sealed their place in the top flight on Monday.

Only defeat, a Middlesbrough win and a 20-goal swing on the final day of the season can deny them promotion.

"The reach of the Premier League is extraordinary," Trevor Birch, of business advisory experts BDO, said.

"It's now in more than 200 countries and reaches four billion people so Bournemouth, in that respect, is going to be catapulted into the world's view."

For Bournemouth, promotion to the Premier League would be their first season in the top flight while Watford return after an eight-year absence.

Graphic comparing Bournemouth's annual turnover with Manchester City's

It is a stark contrast from the administration-hit years of 1997 and 2008 when the Cherries came close to liquidation.

Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University added to BBC Sport that "an estimate for a newly-promoted club is £120m".

That comes from around "£100m from television and media" as well as "another £20m from commercial revenue" in the form of advertising in the last season before the new £5.1bn Premier League TV deal comes into effect.

Birch added: "They will then also have an enhanced value in terms of sponsorship because you are being broadcast across the world. They will have slight uplift on the stadium revenues but it won't be significant compared to the TV revenues."

With a current capacity of 11,700, Bournemouth's Goldsands Stadium will be the smallest in the Premier League and with a population of 90,300, Watford will also be one of the smallest towns in the top flight.

Graphic comparing Manchester United's stadium capacity with Bournemouth's

And while there may be a small uplift, Robert Barnard, who specialises in leisure and hospitality for BDO, says Bournemouth's stadium capacity will limit any major benefits for the town.

"It's all relative to the capacity of their ground," Barnard told BBC Sport.

"Yes once it is in the Premier League it will gather a lot more interest. But at the moment Bournemouth does very well as a south coast town. It benefits from having party conferences, for example, but also has a pretty robust corporate life. There is good demand for the hotels down there.

"If they were to expand there could be a knock-on effect. Bournemouth last year did 78% occupancy so only 22% of its rooms went unoccupied for the year and in fact its performance versus 2013 improved by 8.5%. That shows Bournemouth is not at all dependent on away supporters filling its hotel rooms, it can do it for itself."

And while the figures of £120m sound extraordinarily large, there was a word of warning for both Watford and Bournemouth.

The bucket collection that saved the Cherries

"While this £100m to £120m sounds like a lot of money, it very quickly gets used up," said Wilson.

And Birch, who successfully saved Portsmouth from liquidation in 2013 and guided them out of administration, added: "The danger is that you think you can make a bigger impact with signing better players at a higher value on higher wages and you then get your cost structure out of kilter with your revenues.

"Those sensible clubs will concentrate on spending significant portion of it on infrastructure, stadiums, academies and training grounds."

The rise of Premier League TV income