Play-off glory could net Cherries 2m
Cherries will be chasing an estimated jackpot of around £2m when they take their chance in the League One play-off lottery. Lee Bradbury's heroes will be hoping to win a place in the Championship and land the Dorset club the huge financial rewards that would come with promotion. Cherries kick-off their campaign against Huddersfield at Dean Court today (12.45pm) before heading to the Galpharm Stadium on Wednesday (7.45pm). The victors of the two-legged semi-final will book a trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, May 29 where they will meet either Peterborough or MK Dons in the final. And with lucrative Football League payments at stake for the winning club, the financial incentives are enormous, particularly for Cherries. This season's basic award saw all clubs in League One handed £640,000, while those in the Championship banked £2.4m. Although next season's figures have yet to be finalised, the Football League has confirmed the payments are likely to be similar. An annual increase of around £1.76m, together with the associated spin-offs of playing in the Championship, would provide Cherries with a significant windfall. Cherries also stand to profit from reaching the play-offs, both in terms of broadcast fees and gate receipts. All four semi-finalists will receive £40,000 from Sky Sports for the televising of their last-four shootouts, although there is no fee for the final. Gate receipts from the four League One semi-finals are pooled with the four competing clubs banking an equal share of 50 per cent. The other 50 per cent goes to a central Football League account. The two finalists receive 25 per cent of the Old Trafford gate receipts with the other 50 per cent also going to the Football League. Cherries, in line with the other 71 members of the Football League, then receive an equal share of the pool, which includes monies from the Championship and League Two play-offs. There is no prize money in the play-offs and Cherries will receive nothing for finishing sixth in League One. Asked by the Daily Echo about the financial rewards of the play-offs, Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell said: To most people, the rewards in the play-offs are considerable and the money will be spent in the right direction. But it is not an overwhelming amount and, if we were to win the play-offs, then the prize would be far greater. If that were to happen, we would then need to look at what we would receive and spend it wisely, but not just on buying players. We are building a team gradually and I think the players are beginning to realise that we are a club which, for the majority, is their future to the Championship and probably further. We are a club for the future, a very fashionable club, in a fashionable location.
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