Relegation to League One had significantly increased the playing burden on Sunderland’s squad but the potential financial boost cannot be overlooked.
Jack Ross is preparing his squad for FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy ties against Port Vale and Morecambe in the coming days, knowing victories will boost his side’s growing momentum.
The Black Cats have not budgeted for success in either competition and while promotion is very much the priority, Charlie Methven admits that good performances in both can be a very welcome bonus in the club’s battle for greater financial stability.
As the new regime continues to try and bring Sunderland’s revenue closer to its cost base, potential prize and TV money can help.
The Black Cats will pocket £75,000 in TV money from the Port Vale clash, which will be shown on BT Sport at 2.30pm on Sunday.
A further £36,000 is up for grabs for the winner.
“If we get to the final of the Checkatrade Trophy the club would probably make about a million quid,” Methven said.
“As a percentage of an overall revenue base of £18million, that’s pretty good.
“If we make round three of the FA Cup we could probably make £500,000-£600,000.
“These are things that we haven’t factored into our budget, because we don’t think it’s wise to plan cup runs. It should come as the cream on the cake rather than making up the cake.
“But these things do start to matter, including things like whether you’re going to get on TV or not.
“That’s the reality once you’re outside of the Premier League and your revenue base is something like £20million, which is actually pretty high.”
Jack Ross has vowed to treat both competitions with respect and despite rotating his squad, has picked strong teams for both of Sunderland’s Checkatrade games so far.
They look certain to progress to the knockout round after the clash with Morecambe next Tuesday, where prize money continues to grow.
The eventual winner will enjoy a lucrative trip to Wembley and pocket £100,000 for that game alone.
Sunderland’s long-term strategy is to boost revenues enough to make the club sustainable, particularly with parachute payments declining.
Promotion to the Championship is clearly key to that plan.
“If we get up the Championship we think our revenue base would be about £30million, as TV money is £6million higher,” executive director Methven said.
“That would actually be one of the highest when you don’t factor in parachute payments, which, as we know, doesn’t always go straight into the pot.
“They’re there for a reason, to make up for a multitude of sins racked up in the Premier League. You have to use them pretty wisely or as some clubs have found, you can end up crashing down pretty hard.”
Methven said last month that promotion this season would enable Sunderland’s next, and final parachute payment (of around £15million) to be used in part towards strengthening the squad.
So while League One success is the absolute priority for the club, some positive results elsewhere would be a very welcome bonus.