Every rung up the Premier League ladder means more money for Norwich City
The official line from Carrow Road may still revolve around a 17th-place finish – but there are seven million reasons why Norwich City would hope to continue their current top-flight form.
The Premier League's financial structure ensures a quarter of its revenue from television and licensing agreements is awarded to teams based on their final position in the table.
In 2010-11, the overall �1.2bn pot saw bottom club West Ham United walk away with little more than �750,000 – with every additional Premier League place worth the same again.
It meant Wolves, who scraped to safety in 17th, took in about �3m as part of their �40.6m top-flight cheque.
And Fulham – who secured eighth, Norwich's current top-flight position – picked up a merit payment of more than �9.8m to take their total close to the �50m mark.
Even Sunderland's top-10 finish brought in �8.3m – �5m more than Wolves, and the equivalent of Norwich City's reported outlay during the last January transfer window.
The Premier League will not yet reveal the money available for the 2011-12 season, although with the share from international broadcast rights set to increase on last season they expect merit payments to do likewise. Of last season's �1.2bn Premier League pot, half was shared equally between all top-flight clubs. The final quarter is given out in 'facility fees' depending on the number of games broadcast live involving each club.
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All 20 sides are guaranteed a minimum fee – which last season was �5.8m – for 10 live games, with clubs receiving a greater share the more they are on the television.
With the Canaries' disappointing FA Cup exit to Leicester City at the weekend, the Premier League represents sole focus for Paul Lambert's side this season.
And wherever a so-far memorable top-flight return takes them, chief executive David McNally vowed any bonus Premier League revenue will head straight for Lambert's Norwich plans.
'The football club is being run as a cooperative and by that we mean any spare cash we generate goes back into the first team squad – so that is what we would do if we had any bonus money this year,' said McNally.
'We don't have a wealthy billionaire benefactor, so we can't rely on somebody to write a cheque out at the end of each year. We do have the best owners in the business and they will support their football club through thick and thin, and do all they can to help the club. It has been extraordinary really – we said we would have taken 17th earlier in the season and probably still would, because it means you are certain of Premier League football for next year.
'But I think what Paul and his players have demonstrated quite simply is that they are a very good side. They are a very good team that has earned 35 points from 25 games – and they have earned those the hard way, through their efforts.
'We have got a truly talented squad who are punching their weight and at times punching above their weight to deliver for this club some extraordinary results.
'We are not at this stage concerned about anything else other than staying in the league for next year. The pundits are not correct of course – we are not mathematically safe.
'For me, the normal profile is 40 points – 10 wins, 10 draws, 18 defeats – and that means one win and two draws gets us there. It may be enough, it may not be. But that's the only goal really.
'If we end up in a higher position than that then we will worry about what to do with the cash when we are in that fortunate position, if we get there.'