- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP) - Middlesbrough gained promotion to the English Premier League on Saturday after a seven-year absence, following a 1-1 draw with 10-man Brighton which could be worth almost $250 million to the northern club.

Needing only to avoid defeat to gain promotion from the second-tier League Championship, Middlesbrough took the lead on 19 minutes after Cristhian Stuani tapped in a cutback from David Nugent.

“I can’t be more proud of this group of players,” said Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, the former Real Madrid defender who used to be assistant coach at the Spanish club under Jose Mourinho.

Brighton, which itself needed to win the game to secure automatic promotion, drew level in the 55th through Dale Stephens’ header. Stephens got a red card three minutes later for a reckless challenge on Gaston Ramirez.

Middlesbrough joins champion Burnley in the Premier League next season. Burnley was promoted last week but secured the Championship trophy by beating relegated Charlton 3-0 on Saturday.

The Premier League’s new domestic and international TV deals start next season and are worth a record $12 billion over three years.

According to soccer finance expert Deloitte, Middlesbrough will benefit from future additional revenue of at least 170 million pounds ($245 million) compared to what it would have generated if not promoted.

Brighton can still be promoted through the playoffs where it faces Sheffield Wednesday in the semifinals, with Hull and Derby in the other semifinal.

The first legs are on May 13 and 14.

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