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What Was Sunderland's 'Miracle' Worth In Terms Of Income?

Since football and finance are almost impossible to separate these days, we look at the what survival meant to Sunderland in terms of cash.

Richard Sellers

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If football is about money these days, then Sunderland's 'miracle' survival was an immensely profitable one.

When the Black Cats were rooted to the foot of the table in mid-April and seven points adrift with just six games remaining, I don't think there were many who genuinely expected Gus Poyet's side to end the season anywhere else. Due to the new TV deal, that still would have seen a jump of about £20m on last season, but that is dwarfed by the estimated income of survival.

It is believed that Sunderland's unlikely 14th placed finish will see the club rake in around £73m from prize money and TV income. That is a huge increase from the reported £42m received a year ago.

Obviously the bulk of that is due to the jump central funds (annual share of the TV deal). However, prize money has also seen a significant jump, to £8.4m from £3m for last season's 17th place.

This season's income only tells half of the story, though. Survival also guarantees another windfall next summer of at least £64m - the amount generated by bottom-of-the-table Cardiff City - and hopefully a lot more!

I don't know what the going rate for a miracle is, but this one looks mightily profitable to us.