Firstly, congratulations to Aston Villa on securing their return to the Premier League via the play-offs. A great achievement considering where they were in the Championship at the turn of the year when Dean Smith was appointed as the new manager.
Because of that 2-1 win against Derby County at Wembley, winning the richest game in world football, Villa will land in excess of £180m, but also benefiting from the triumph are many Villa players who have barely played a part in helping seal that promotion.
For example, unwanted striker, Ross McCormack, will see his wages rise to an incredible £70,000 a week. He has struggled to make any impact at the club since joining from Fulham in a £12m move in 2016, yet he will be rewarded with a big-money deal due to a clause in his contract.
McCormack has been sent out on loan to four different clubs during his three years at Villa, having made just 24 appearances for the club, with his most recent outing coming 616 days ago in the League Cup.
But it is not just McCormack who will receive a massive new deal because of Villa’s promotion. Villa will reportedly have to also find an extra £4m in wages for the likes of Scott Hogan, Gary Gardner, James Bree and Henri Lansbury who will also benefit from the promotion.
Hogan, Gardner, Bree and Lansbury made just 17 league appearances for the Villains between them during the season, with Lansbury the only player to remain at the club while the others were sent out on loan.
Both Gardner and McCormack have contracts at the club that are not due to expire until the end of next season, while Hogan and Lansbury have two years left on their current deals.
Many of the clauses in these contracts were agreed after commitments were made by former owner Tony Xia, who sanctioned a spending spree after taking over from Randy Lerner.
Xia’s bid to get Villa back to the Premier League ultimately failed and he eventually sold a large majority of the club to Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris in July 2018.
But the contracts offered go to show the sheer recklessness that is used when many of these deals are struck. Xia was happily spending future money knowing he could walk away at any time, but the club are now forced to honour the deals and miss out on some of the money they earnt from that Wembley win.
Not all contracts are struck with this total disregard but many owners who often have a short-term interest in a club will throw money around to get fans on side in a show of commitment and strength.
However, as ever, it is the player’s and their agents who will be the biggest winners, while these financial losses will need to be mitigated and will be paid for by who else – the fans.