How many points are needed to stay up?

The importance of avoiding relegation for top-flight teams has come into sharp focus.

In a week when Sky and BT Sport paid a record £5.1 billion for live Premier League TV rights for 2016-17, the importance of avoiding relegation for top-flight teams has come into sharp focus once again.

The TV companies argue that it's good value (for them!). Of course, there is huge competition for the rights, so they obviously feel it is the right strategy.

Meanwhile, some estimate that the average wage of a Premier League player will rise to £5 million a year with the new contract - so I think they will be OK.

But what of the fans? I hope they can benefit from reduced ticket prices. I am constantly amazed how families can afford the prices for top-flight games.

Despite the appeal of Monday Night Football or Soccer Saturday, it is the supporters who always hold the key, whether it's the hordes of global soccer travellers at Manchester United, or the 52 travelling Alfreton fans at Grimsby on a Tuesday night.  Albion fans will not have to concern themselves with either end of that spectrum at the moment, but must focus on staying up.

There is also unlikely to be any departure from the last few years when the bid for survival has gone down to the wire. In 2014, Doncaster went down with 44 points - but Birmingham stayed up (also on 44). The year before, Peterborough went down with 54 and Barnsley stayed up with 55. In 2012, Portsmouth dropped down with 40 and Barnsley maintained their position with 48.

There are currently 13 teams separated by just 10 points. A haul of at least 50 looks necessary this season. A dramatic lunchtime game at Middlesbrough on the final day may yet decide the team's fate.

With Boro pushing for promotion, Seagulls fans will be hoping it doesn't come down to that.