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How much is the Papa Johns Trophy worth to Wanderers if they win it?

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Wanderers will pocket £100,000 in prize money if they win Sunday’s Papa Johns Trophy final.

The club has already made a tidy sum from the competition, and will take £50,000 even if they don’t lift the trophy against Plymouth Argyle at Wembley.

To date they have earned just over £150,000 in participation fees and prize money but that pot is increased significantly when you factor in gate receipts from five home games in the competition along with the TV money they got from the semi-final at Accrington Stanley.

On Sunday each club will take 45 per cent of the overall gate receipts, with 10 per cent going into a central pot for EFL clubs.

Wanderers have shifted nearly 34,000 tickets to date, with sales continuing until Friday morning, while Plymouth have sold a whopping 38,000.

Profits after expenses will be paid out to the two clubs at a later date, and are difficult to estimate given their wide-ranging nature.

The EFL regulations state that: "The proceeds of all matches shall, after paying thereout the travelling expenses of the visiting clubs, the ground and other expenses of the match including VAT, floodlighting of the playing pitch and ancillary lighting, advertising, printing, postage, police charges, turnstile operators, stewards, contribution to first aid helpers, costs of any goal line technology, costs incurred in providing a live streaming service and clearing the ground of snow, be referred to as the net proceeds."

While crowds have been relatively low during the Papa Johns Trophy, Wanderers have managed to sell a high number of iFollow passes for their midweek games.

The average crowd at the University of Bolton Stadium for the five home games has been just 3,316 but streaming – which made Wanderers £500,000 in 2021/22 – has again provided wildly popular this season, with the club selling more passes than most in the level above them.

Wanderers have not played at Wembley since the FA Cup semi-final against Stoke City in 2011 and this will be the 14th time that the club has turned out at the stadium, in all its incarnations.

Their record so far stands at six wins, one draw and six defeats, but the last time they were victorious at Wembley in a knockout cup final was 34 years ago, when Phil Neal’s side lifted the Sherpa Van Trophy.

VAR will NOT be in use for the final, although referee Ben Toner will have the benefit of goal-line technology at Wembley.

The Blackburn-based official took charge of the 3-0 win against Wycombe earlier in the season.

Earlier this year, Bolton boss Ian Evatt backed calls for VAR to be employed across the whole Football League.

He said: “Football should be equal throughout. We know there is a huge amount of money at the top of the game but it is equally important at this level.

“It means just as much as it does to any Premier League team, so why can’t we be consistent across the board?

“I keep saying there is enough finance in the game for us to be able to have VAR, for every division of elite football in the pyramid. There is no doubt in my mind. It is almost like we are giving the Premier League more importance than the other leagues.”

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