A dramatic final day of the Premier League season had fans holding their breath after Aston Villa fought for a draw to remain in the top flight, but Bournemouth could be cursing a technology blunder back in June that has ultimately cost the team more than $300 million.
The battle to avoid the two remaining relegation places went to the wire as Aston Villa scored in the 84th minute, conceded a minute later, then held on for 1-1 draw at West Ham to survive.
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Captain Jack Grealish scored Villa's goal in what could be his last game for his boyhood club.
"I'm pleased, proud and every adjective to go with it. It is a proud moment and feels better than going up (from the Championship) last season," Villa manager Dean Smith said.
"Condolences to Watford and Bournemouth. I can only imagine how they feel now."
Bournemouth did what they had to do and beat Everton, 3-1, but ended up one point behind Villa.
But fans have pointed out a crucial moment after the ‘unprecedented’ goal-line technology blunder, which denied Sheffield United a goal against Villa back in June, resulting in a draw between the teams.
That point ultimately has helped keep Villa afloat and has sent Bournemouth packing after five years in the top flight.
This kept Aston Villa up. And relegated Bournemouth. pic.twitter.com/FAc4zTzaXP— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) July 26, 2020
Just to be clear... when that refs wristwatch didn’t buzz Sheffield’s goal crossing the line against Aston Villa... that relegated Bournemouth today and lost them hundreds of millions of pounds. 🤷🏻♀️👍🏻 https://t.co/8T2w110A2i— Helen Hardy ⚽️ (@helenfootball) July 26, 2020
They got lucky with the goal line technology decision against the Sheffield United. I feel horrible for Bournemouth on the other hand pic.twitter.com/d0gqvh8BLn— Stephen Ngalim (@stephenngalim) July 26, 2020
Think you’ll find the dodgy goal line tech at Villa Park kept your club up https://t.co/IOTZrh60RM— The Notorious D.O.G🏴 (@DannyGlaves) July 26, 2020
I feel especially sorry for them because they got relegated because of a failing in the goal line decision technology.— Michael Chance (@grumpywolf63) July 26, 2020
That decision would have had no impact on any draw featuring the other 19 teams this season and probably any since it's introduction
Research from Delloite estimated the revenue from playing in the Premier League in 2019/20 was around $300 million with payments set to increase over the next few years.
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"We were excellent today," Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said.
"It's a sad, painful feeling for me in my heart. It's difficult when you feel like you've let people down."
Watford were also relegated as the next-to-last team after losing 3-2 at Arsenal.
Troy Deeney, Watford's captain, hinted he may now leave the club.
"I have been here 10 years, if it is my time to go, it is my time to go," Deeney said on Sky Sports.
"I will take the stick on social media but the harsh reality is people will lose their jobs because we haven't been good enough."
Manchester United and Chelsea also qualified for the European Champions League at the expense of Leicester.
United won 2-0 at Leicester through goals by Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team a third-place finish on Sunday.
"I'm delighted. We've achieved a Champions League spot," said the United boss, whose side were eight points behind fourth place when the league restarted after the coronavirus break in June.
"We've come from way, way behind teams and gone past them. We've shown that we've got the consistency, the right mentality."