Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nothing To Play For (except the odd £15 Million).

The final couple of matches of the Premier League season have traditionally thrown up a host of matches where there is little for some teams to play for.

They are marooned in mid table, too remote from the title or European places, but relatively, if not mathematically safe from the threat of relegation.

Anecdotally, they are high scoring affairs, where teams care less for the physical risks associated with full bloodied defending, although this weekend to date appears to have deemed attacking play an optional extra.

However, the influx of Sky, BT and overseas rights money has potentially made these hitherto meaningless games a much more lucrative sideshow to the drama at the top and bottom of the Premier League.

A fixed cut from here and overseas, combined with a performance related slice and additional extras for more frequent TV appearances can inflate the end of season TV paycheck by upwards of £10 million, even at this late stage of the campaign.

Some teams are locked within a place or two of their current league position, but for a handful of mid table sides the up or downside can stretch to three or four places in either direction.

click image to enlarge.

The table above has simulated the remainder of the season 1,000's of times using data from the Infogol App , but rather than plotting the traditional likelihood that each team will finish in a particular position, this has been replaced with the cumulative reward each side would receive if they climbed or fell in the table.

Sunderland are the easiest side to explain.

They are virtually certain to finish bottom for which they'll receive £98 million, but there is also around a 3% chance they could win another £2 million for the club by ending up second botton.

For the likes of Stoke, Leicester, West Ham, Watford, Palace, Burnley and Bournemouth, the up and downsides are more widespread. Stoke are as likely to add £121 million to the Coates' family billions as they are to humbly submit a mere £105 million.

So whether the players will play ball or not remains to be seen, but the age where May saw the beach beckoning for swathes of Premier League players may be a thing of the past in the era of new found even greater affluence.

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