Nottingham Forest clinched promotion to the 2022/23 Premier League season after a 1-0 win against Huddersfield in the Championship play-off final on Sunday.
Levi Colwill’s own goal late in the first half at Wembley was enough for Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest side to hit the jackpot in the most lucrative single match in world football.
Promotion to the Premier League is estimated to be worth at least £170 million ($214 million) in increased revenue.
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Nottingham Forest will gratefully accept the huge financial windfall, but it was the relief at ending their long exile from English football’s elite that spurred the frenzied scenes of celebration among their thousands of red and white-clad fans.
For the first time in the 21st century, Nottingham Forest can look forward to welcoming the Premier League’s elite to their City Ground stadium on the banks of the River Trent.
The promotion was a personal triumph for Cooper, who has revitalised Nottingham Forest since replacing the sacked Chris Hughton in September 2021.
Nottingham Forest were bottom of the table after taking one point from their first seven games, but Cooper had the midas touch as he erased the bitter taste of his defeat with Swansea in last year’s Championship play-off final against Brentford.
“I’m pleased for the players and the supporters. Everybody connected with the football club deserves this today and we’re now really looking forward to a positive future,” Cooper said.
“It’s relief and pride. This isn’t about me but it’s changed my life, potentially anyway.
“We’ve brought Nottingham to Wembley today, we’ve taken over the place and here we are in the Premier League.”
Cooper repaired the wounds of Forest’s worst start to a season for 108 years and ensured they remained focused after losing a shot at automatic promotion in their penultimate game of the season against top-two rivals Bournemouth.
Fourth-placed Nottingham Forest beat Sheffield United on penalties in the play-off semi-final and held their nerve again to earn the ultimate prize against Huddersfield.
Nottingham Forest knocked Arsenal and Leicester out of this season’s FA Cup before losing narrowly to Liverpool.