On Saturday afternoon, as I was watching Crystal Palace play Leeds United, I was struck by a comment from the match commentator that this was the home teams' 8th consecutive season in the Premier League.
Those that are familiar with English football will know that Crystal Palace are somewhat of a yoyo club, and have 5 different spells in the Premier League. That means 4 relegations and 4 promotions (they were in the league in 1992/3 for the first season). Their 8-year stint is by far their longest spell in England's top flight.
Crystal Palace's current stay in the top flight was thanks to a promotion at the end of the 2012/13 season through the play-offs. The play-offs are for teams that finish the season in places 3/4/5/6 and involve semi-finals (two legs both home and away) and a final at Wembley.
The Championship Play-off Final - which Crystal Palace have incidentally won more than another other club (4 times) - is often referred to as the 'richest game in football' or the 'richest game in the world'. This is because of the enormous revenue streams that can be generated from playing the Premier League through broadcasting, sponsorship, matchday operations and merchandising.
On the 27th of May 2013, former England and Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips, scored a penalty in added time of first half extra time to beat Watford in the 2013 Playoff Final. Crystal Palace have reaped the rewards since. Each season the clubs stays in the Premier League, the more value this goal become. Phillips, now 47, is long since retired and played his last game in 2014 for Leicester City.
However, there is a more valuable goal. A year before at Wembley West Ham United beat Blackpool in the 2012 Playoff Final. Portuguese player Ricardo Vaz Tê - currently playing with Portimonense following spells in Turckey and the Chinese Super League scored the winning goal, 3 minutes from time, as West Ham won by two goals to one.
West Ham have remained in the Premier League ever since. Every club to win the Playoff prior to 2012 have been relegated at least once from the Premier League. Vaz Tê's goal unlocked nine seasons of the Premier League and counting. Just like Kevin Phillips' goal a year later, the longer West Ham and Crystal Palace survive in the English Premier League, the more valuable these individual goals become.
With the 2020/21 season well underway it seems very likely both clubs will see an 9th and 10th season in the Premier League. By then Phillips will be 48 and Vaz Tê 35. The impact both had on their respective clubs lives on.