Duffen plans for the long term in event of taking Premier prize

HULL CITY chairman Paul Duffen has pledged to hand manager Phil Brown the multi-million cash booty that comes with a place in the Premier League if the club is promoted today.

The Tigers are potentially 90 minutes away from ending a 104-year wait for top-flight football with Phil Brown's men taking on Bristol City in the Championship play-off final.

Victory over the Robins would earn City a huge cash windfall with a place in the Premier League estimated to be worth around 60m.

A little over a third of that sum relates to two future parachute payments of 11m should Hull be relegated after just one year among the elite, but that still means the winners of today's Wembley final can look forward to a cash injection of at least 35m next season.

And Duffen, who has also revealed that alternative lists of potential summer signings have been drawn up, has pledged to hand the proceeds to Brown for team strengthening.

Speaking exclusively to the Yorkshire Post, the Tigers chairman said: "If we could win promotion, I firmly believe we do have the backbone of a team that can take us to the next level and a manager who has done it before as Sam Allardyce's assistant (at Bolton).

"But I also fully appreciate we would need to strengthen the squad. The good thing from Hull City's point of view is that the vast majority of the money that would come in from being in the Premier League would go to Phil for team strengthening and increasing the wage bill.

"That is possible because we are not a debt-ridden club. It means we would be in a situation where, if we go up, the club would be enormously profitable because there is no debt to service.

"Of course, we have to plan for the long term so there is no way we would gamble the parachute payments that would come the club's way should we then be relegated in the future.

"There would be no sense in that as it would endanger the club's future and possibly lead to bankruptcy. But it would be prudent to invest the money that comes with being in the Premier League to try and ensure the club stays there.

"It would, effectively, be a case of re-investing in the long-term future of Hull City."

Birmingham City and Derby County's relegation after just one season in the top flight shows just how difficult it can be to survive in the top flight, Sunderland only having stayed up after Roy Keane spent 45m on new players.

This need to strengthen means that if City do triumph in world football's most lucrative club game today, Brown and his staff will be in for a hectic summer of transfer activity.

Duffen said: "We have been planning for both eventualities since January. We have four lists – two if we are in the Championship and two if it is the Premier League.

"If we are in the Championship, we have a list of players we want to buy and a list of players we would want to bring in on loan.

"And if it is the Premier League, there is one list of UK players and another for players from abroad. We have been scouting constantly to make sure we are prepared for next season, regardless of what division we are playing in."

City's first ever trip to Wembley caps an amazing debut season at the helm for Duffen whose consortium bought out previous chairman Adam Pearson for 10m last June.

He added: "At the moment, it feels a little bit like waiting for my wedding day. I don't want it to fly by and me not to remember all of it. I want to savour every last second.

"I am also very mindful that it is a day to celebrate all those generations of Hull City fans who never got the chance see their team at Wembley. It is going to be a special day.

"I will not be nervous. I realised very early in business that there is little to be achieved by worrying over things you cannot affect. It is the same with football.

"Come the whistle blowing at 3pm, I will be as helpless as any other Hull City fan and totally absorbed in the game."