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Strong finish could earn enough for major summer signing

With safety secured, the general thought is that Villa have nothing but pride left to play for. That couldn't be more wrong.

Mark Thompson

Aston Villa clinched safety with Norwich's draw at Chelsea on Sunday. Since then, the narrative has switched to one of a team with nothing to play for assuming the role of spoiler at Manchester City tomorrow. But there is a slight flaw in that way of thinking. Given their current position, Villa could finish strongly enough to earn enough bonus money to buy another Christian Benteke.

The Premier League will pay £1.2 million per finishing position to teams this season, which means that Villa–who could still finish anywhere between 17th and 11th–stand to earn between £4.8 and £12 million. If you think Villa still have nothing left to play for, that's the difference between a Libor Kozak-size purchase and a Libor Kozak plus Christian Benteke purchase.

It would take a miracle to finish 11th, but getting a point or more in the final two matches could still make for a pretty sizable difference in bonus money. It's easy to write that off and say that it doesn't matter, but it certainly be a difference-maker come this summer.