The financial gulf between League One and Championship clubs is forever increasing.
With billion-pound television packages being agreed in the Premier League, broadcast money is slowly making its way down into the second division but stops someway short of reaching the third.
Each Championship side this season will recieve a basic payment of £2.3 million, a £4.5m solidarity payment, and are paid between £100,000 - £140,000 for each game selected for live broadcast.
Compare that to the overall payment of just £1.4m a League One side will be paid and the £30,000 bonuses for televised games, and it's clear to see just how important promotion is for those near the top of the table.
So, with the English season heading into the final third, Goal brings you all you need to know about the four-team mini tournament that will send one team into the English second division.
Which teams have qualified for the League One play-offs?
Three clubs are chasing the two automatic promotion spots, with Wigan Athletic still favourites for the League One title.
Wigan have moved three points ahead of Blackburn Rovers at the top of the table, with Shrewsbury the only team capable of denying the north west clubs automatic promotion.
The fight for the play-offs is far more open, with any side currently in the top half of the table in with a shout.
Positions 3-6 will make up the play-off semi-finals, currently Shrewsbury, Rotherham United, Charlton Athletic and Scunthorpe United, though Plymouth Argyle are outside only by goal difference.
Portsmouth and Peterborough are also looking to qualify for a shot for promotion but have ground to make up between now and the end of the campaign.
Latest League One table:
Last updated on Tuesday April 17.
When are the League One play-offs?
The 2017-18 League One regular season is due to end on the first weekend in May, with the final games - in matchweek 46 - all currently scheduled for Saturday, May 5.
While no dates have currently been set for the 2018 play-offs, they generally kick off a week after the conclusion of the regular season. For example, in 2017, the first play-off semi-final match was played on May 4.
|Team||Agg.||Team||Leg 1||Leg 2|
|Third-placed team||-||Sixth-placed team||TBC||TBC|
|Fourth-placed team||-||Fifth-placed team||TBC||TBC|
When the final standings are confirmed, the top two teams earn automatic promotion to the Championship and the teams that finished third to sixth face off in the play-offs cycle, with only one of them earning promotion.
There are two semi-final ties, each with home and away legs, with the winners of those progressing to the final. The third-placed team plays the sixth-placed team and fourth is paired with fifth.
When and where is the League One play-off final?
The 2018 League One play-off final is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 27 at the traditional venue of Wembley Stadium in London.
Kick-off time has not been confirmed yet, but in 2017 the game was played at 15:00 BST (10:00 ET).
|Date||Sunday, May 27, 2018|
The play-offs were not always held at Wembley and from 2001 to 2006, when the 'Home of Football' was being rebuilt, they were played at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Wembley has a capacity of 90,000, with the official crowd of the 2017 League One play-off final marked as 53,320.
How can I watch the League One play-offs?
All of the League One play-off matches — and, indeed, all of the Football League play-off matches altogether — are expected to be broadcast live on television on Sky Sports in the UK.
The games can also be streamed live online using Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports||Sky Go|
How can I buy tickets for the League One play-off final?
Both clubs are allocated a set number of tickets for the final and fans can purchase directly from either club, depending on where they wish to be seated.
Last year, prices for adult tickets ranged from £30 up to £80, with concession tickets for children and OAPs are half the price of the standard tickets.
What happened in last year's League One play-offs?
The 2017 League One play-offs were won by Millwall, who subsequently joined Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers in moving up to the Championship.
The rules of the play-offs dictated that the third-placed team played the sixth-placed team in the semi-finals and the fourth-placed was paired with the fifth-placed team. So Scunthorpe took on Millwall in one semi-final and Bradford played Fleetwood.
Millwall, who beat seventh-placed Southend United to a play-off spot by a single point, beat Scunthorpe over two legs with an aggregate score of 3-2, and would meet Bradford, 1-0 winners over Fleetwood in their semi-final double-header, in the final at Wembley.
The game was settled by a single goal scored by Steve Morison in the 85th minute, securing the Lions' place in the Championship for the 2017-18 campaign.