Middlesbrough promoted
Middlesbrough return to the top flight after a seven-year absence.Getty

Middlesbrough will return to the Premier League for the first time in seven years after clinching an automatic Championship promotion spot. On a tense afternoon at the Riverside, second place Middlesbrough took on third place Brighton and Hove Albion in the decider, with a win or a draw good enough to ensure Aitor Karanka's side would go up with champions Burnley.

Cristhian Stuani's opener after 19 minutes gave the home side the lead, but Brighton levelled through Dale Stephens early in the second half. Brighton's hopes of a comeback were hindered just four minutes later however as Stephens turned hero to villain, when he was shown a straight red card for a dangerous challenge on Gaston Ramirez which left the Uruguayan with a nasty gash down his left leg.

With a man advantage, Boro held on despite eight minutes of injury time being added on to get the result that lifts them back into the top flight of English football.

Saturday's clash on Teeside was billed as a £170m ($245.32m) showdown between the promotion rivals. Boro's promotion to the Premier League will see their revenue increase to £170m, according to Deloitte's Sports Business Group, and at least £290m if they survive their first season.

The club could also become one of the world's top 30 revenue-generating clubs by the end of next season, thanks to the colossal prize money they are set to net.

Brighton will now enter the playoffs with hopes of ending their 33-year exile from the English top flight. They will take on Sheffield Wednesday while Hull City face Derby County, with first leg ties to take place on Friday 13 May and Saturday 14 May.