Owls count blessings of progress on two fronts

Swelling the coffers: Fans can improve their club's finances
Swelling the coffers: Fans can improve their club's finances
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another £67,500 is at stake when the Owls take on West Ham on Sunday.

That’s the amount doled out from the FA prize fund to winners of third-round ties.

Wednesday have already picked up £113,000 as a result of their games against Morecambe and Aldershot in the first and second rounds.

So glamour, prestige and relief from the grind of the League One programme are not the only reasons why the Cup is handy.

If income from the competition can strengthen the Owls’ hand in the January transfer window then so much the better.

Those financial figures do not take into account gate receipts.

Wednesday will not have made a fortune from the Morecambe tie (attendance 4,160) or the one against Aldershot (10,162), and receipts up to the third round, minus expenses, are divided equally between the two competing clubs.

In the third round, the clubs get 45 per cent each while 10 per cent goes to a pool that is divided among all clubs after the end of the competition.

Anyway, even without counting gate receipts, if the Owls cause an upset and knock out a team who are second in the Championship (behind Southampton only on goal difference) then they will have earned £180,500 from the Cup so far.

That figure comprises their total winnings from the prize fund plus a broadcast fee of £67,500 for the live screening of the Morecambe game.

It may not be an exceptional attendance on Sunday; early indications suggest around 18,000.

The big difference between league and cup matches of course is that for the latter, season-ticket holders have to pay.

Attendances and money stack up the further you go in the competition, especially if you are drawn against the big boys.

But Wednesday are doing all right out of it so far, and the more fans back them, the healthier the receipts, in addition to the importance attached by players to the way they encourage the team.

The Owls are also benefiting in all ways from success in the League. They attracted 24,254 for the visit of Tranmere on Monday - a very good crowd considering that the away following was tiny.

It took their average attendance to 20,041, the best in League One and with the income it brings.

If the Owls can reproduce the sort of football they played in the first half then spectators should keep coming back for more.

Tranmere manager Les Parry has not been the first opposition member to refer to the size and strength of the Wednesday team but it should not be overlooked that they have quality in general play, when they are getting it together, as well as always being a threat at set-pieces, which are a strong point.

I wouldn’t like to be the man who has to try to mark Reda Johnson, for example, at corners or free-kicks.

How ever good West Ham are, they should find Wednesday a handful at set-pieces and it is one of the reasons why a home win is possible regardless of the uncertainty of the cup.