Newcastle in the hunt for £46.7m Financial Fair Play win that could boost transfer plans

Eddie Howe has set Newcastle United the challenge of finishing as 'high' as they can - which will bring with it additional 'benefits' for the club.

Newcastle currently lie in sixth place in the table with just six games to go and there is plenty to play for. There are not only spots in the Europa League and the Europa Conference League up for grabs in the final weeks of the campaign - there are also lucrative merit payments at stake.

Premier League clubs are each guaranteed an overall nine-figure sum when the top-flight's broadcast and central commercial revenues are dished out. This fee is made up of six individual payments: a one-off central commercial sum that is the same for every club; two separate equal share figures from UK and international broadcasters that are distributed evenly; a facility fee for how often a side are shown live on UK TV; and two separate merit payments from UK and international broadcasters based on where a team finish in the table.

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Last season, for example, sixth-placed Brighton took home a combined merit payment of £46.7m from UK and international broadcasters while Aston Villa banked £43.6m for ending up in seventh. Tenth-placed Fulham, in contrast, received £34.3m. Although this is still a considerable sum, that is £12.4m less than what Brighton earned for finishing just four places higher.

Given Newcastle's need to boost revenues - the Magpies will even fly to Australia for two post-season friendlies next month - are those additional sums on offer another incentive for Howe to potentially boost his budget ahead of the summer window opening?

"It's very difficult," the Newcastle boss told reporters. "I've been asked this question a lot over the years. You can never focus on that side of it, but I get the question.

"The motivation for me firstly is just from a football perspective we want to finish as high as we can and then, of course, there's benefits from that for the football club. We will endeavour to finish as high as we can."