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Palace win £120 million Wembley showdown

Football News 24/7
Monday's Championship play-off final at Wembley is reputedly worth £120 million to the winner. This is based on the share of next season's media rights - over £70 million and any guaranteed parachute payment should the promoted side be relegated. It is the biggest financial prize in club football out-stripping the Champions League by some way.

Before the game, Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway said winning a place in the Premier League would have a profound impact on the club's future.

He told BBC London: "We have got a chance of everybody's dream. It is a different planet and off the chart.

"If it is achieved then it might mean a new ground, which is the vision of the owners."

He added: "I have already seen and felt what it would mean to Crystal Palace fans.

“It's almost like walking into a casino and putting the future of the club on red or black. It's a 50-50 bet with which you might be able to transform your football club”

Steve Parish Crystal Palace co-owner was in similar thought process:

"You have got some serious issues on the pitch, as you have got to get serious players in, but off the pitch it would mean an unbelievably bright future."

Both will be vindicated following Palace's 1-0 victory over Watford. Holloway is no stranger to play-off glory having guided Blackpool to victory over Cardiff City four years ago and it marks a fantastic transformation for a club that has finished in the bottom half of the table the past four seasons.

Veteran striker, Kevin Phillips, playing his final ever game, scored the winner in extra-time from the penalty spot. In truth it was nothing more than Palace deserved having dominated the game in front of a near packed house.

For us, man of the match was Manchester United bound Wilfried Zaha. The Ivorian born hit man showed his class and it wasn't for some last gasp defending from Watford's best player, Lloyd Doyley, the game could have been over in regulation time.

Once the dust has settled, the big worry for Watford fans will be whether or not they can keep manager Gianfranco Zola, who has already been linked with a move to Fulham amomgst others.

JB

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