Sunderland set for welcome budget boost after Checkatrade Trophy clash at Morecambe
Sunderland are set for a five-figure budget boost thanks to their involvement in this season's Checkatrade Trophy - with that figure only set to increase.
The competition has certainly split opinion among fans since the controversial decision to allow invited Premier League and Championship sides to enter an under-23 team.
But while their involvement has led to boycotts from some supporters, it has allowed the EFL to increase the prize money available in the process.
And such increases mean that Sunderland have already banked Â£35,000 from their opening two games in the competition - with the potential for that figure to rise to over Â£200,000.
Clubs are awarded Â£10,000 for each win in the group stage and Â£5,000 for a draw, meaning the Black Cats' results thus far have already earned them Â£15,000.
A Â£20,000 participation fee is also given to each competing club, taking the club's total earnings so far to Â£35,000.
With a trip to Morecambe still remaining, Sunderland could feasibly net another Â£10,000 before the group stages are completed.
Jack Ross' side are in pole position to qualify from their group as they currently sit at the summit and, should they progress to the knockout stages, then the financial rewards will only increase.
Impressive sums are available for winning games in both round two (Â£20k) and round three (Â£30k), while a quarter final triumph could net the Black Cats Â£40,000.
The tournament winners are then handed a Â£100,000 prize, while the runners-up are offered a Â£50,000 sum.
Therefore, should Sunderland lift the trophy, they could be set for a windfall of over Â£200,000 - a figure which is sure to please the club's top brass.
Such an incoming would be a welcome boost for the Black Cats as they continue to adapt to life following back-to-back relegations.
And the bookmakers feel that the cash injection could happen, with Sunderland installed as 8/1 favourites to win the tournament.