The Euro millions at stake for Newcastle United ahead of run-in as Magpies eye major FFP boost

Newcastle United are aiming to trump Chelsea in the Premier League for much more than top-flight bragging rights.

The Magpies are in the driving seat for clinching a European spot ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's side with three games to go and can no longer be caught by West Ham. In recent years, Chelsea would have looked down a place in the Europa Conference League but this season it provides them with one last chance of a seasonal prize.

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The Blues are banking on Newcastle slipping up but also know their own chances are on a knife-edge. If Eddie Howe's team can beat Brighton & Hove Albion at St James' Park on Saturday and Chelsea lose at Nottingham Forest, United could then only need a point from their last two games to get into the Europa Conference League but the Europa League is still up for grabs too.

Newcastle, however, also have an outside tilt at fifth place but would require Spurs to lose two games and Howe's team need to win all of their remaining fixtures. But simply getting over the line is all that counts for everybody at St James' Park.

Some observers on social media believe that sitting out of a season in Europe would give Newcastle a better shot at getting back into the top four or even mounting a title challenge next term. But that is not shared with Toon directors or Howe who know that getting into Europe is imperative to keep the black and white financial juggernaut chugging a long at a steady pace.

There's also no guarantees in football and Howe feels that Newcastle should take whatever shot at glory is in front of them rather than consolidate. The prize money won't be a game changer for United in the scale of the big picture, but clubs are more marketable when in Europe rather than watching on from home on Thursday nights.

Newcastle CCO Peter Silverstone, draped in a black and white scarf, watched on from Turf Moor as fans chanted "Europe again" in the 4-1 demolition job against Burnley. And he is acutely aware of what it means to Newcastle on and off the field, it's not just prize money, it's gate receipts, more visitors to the club shop and a brand new packed out fan zone outside St James' Park on European weeks as visitors flock to the city.

We already know that finishing in the top six in the Premier League is worth £156million when it comes to Premier League prize money and TV revenue. But Newcastle's top brass, keen to keep adding to the revenue pile for the sake of FFP and PSR rules, are keeping a close eye on the prize pots for Europe next season.

OK, we're not talking the same type of dough that was on offer to Newcastle for playing in the Champions League where they picked up at least £15million for playing in the group stages. That could have been much, much more had they ventured to the knockout phase with last year's winners Manchester City pocketing £69million in UEFA prize money for winning it when defeating Inter Milan in the final showpiece and it all adds up.

The Europa League understandably earns you less but a revamped Swiss-style format - which will feature a 36-team league system with at least eight group matches. In recent years playing in the group stages has been worth at least £3.2m but that is set to expand, as is the £20m overall prize pot for winning it.

Throw in the fact there is a golden ticket to get into the Champions League for the next season for those who win the Europa League, it is very much worth entering.

The Europa Conference League will also switch to a Swiss-style division next season but again there is money to be made. Group participants usually earn about £2.5m and the eventual winners can earn up to £13million.

West Ham have demonstrated that a good run in the Europa Conference League is nothing to be sniffed at, and at the end of the day it is a winnable trophy.