By finishing in 17th in the Premier League, Aston Villa assured themselves of £4.9 million in prize money. Had they beaten already-relegated Burnley, though, they would have netted £7.4 million. The difference? £2.5 million. Put another way, by losing to a rudderless side who had nothing to play for but pride, Aston Villa lost the equivalent of Scott Sinclair's transfer fee.
Sinclair's loan from Manchester City was made permanent by Aston Villa securing their Premier League safety. At that point, they were obligated under the terms of the contract to purchase Sinclair for a reported £2.5 million. I've written elsewhere that the number seemed a little high, though it wasn't bad enough to worry about.
But any doubts about that could have been erased by getting the money as icing on the cake to surviving a fifth consecutive relegation battle. In the long run it probably won't matter too much, as simply being in the Premier League will pay such large television-based dividends that a mere £2.5 million won't seem like much, but right now it does sting a little. Just chalk it up as another missed opportunity for a Villa squad that had plenty of them.
Just think of the real missed opportunity, though: Scott Sinclair, who came on as a second half sub, could have paid for his own escape from Manchester City simply by scoring a brace.
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