Cash injection for Hearts after Australia qualify for World Cup 2022
Hearts will earn a six-figure sum if Australia take Kye Rowles, Nathaniel Atkinson and Cammy Devlin to the World Cup in November.
Rowles and Atkinson took part in the Socceroos' Intercontinental Play-off success over Peru on penalties on Monday night and are strong candidates to retain their places for the finals in Qatar.
If they are called up, around £340,000 will be paid out from FIFA's World Cup Club Benefits Programme, which is designed to compensate clubs whose players are involved in the competition.
A further £170,000 would be due if Devlin joins Rowles and Atkinson in the Australia squad. National coach Graham Arnold has been watching the midfielder lately with a view to an international call-up.
A percentage of the cash would go to previous clubs the players represented over the last two years, but Hearts would still collect a tidy sum exceeding £300,000 if all three are in the Socceroos squad. Monies are paid even if the players do not take the field during the World Cup.
Should Australia progress from their group to reach the tournament's knockout phase, more cash will be due for every day the Hearts men remain in Qatar.
The FIFA programme pays clubs just over £7,000 per player for each day they spend as part of a World Cup squad, beginning two weeks before the competition’s opening game.
Devlin and Atkinson joined Hearts last season from Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City respectively. Rowles will soon join them from Central Coast Mariners, provided his UK work permit is approved.
Australia qualified for Qatar with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Peru having beaten United Arab Emirates in the Asian World Cup play-off last week.
Goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne pulled off a dramatic save in sudden death to take Arnold’s side through to the finals.
He stopped Alex Valera’s penalty-kick and sparked wild celebrations, with Arnold seen in tears as emotions got the better of the national coach.
“I called out Anthony Albanese [Australia’s Prime Minister] the other day to give everyone a day off to celebrate this because I believe this is one of the greatest achievements ever,” said Arnold at full-time.
“To qualify for this World Cup the way we've had to go through things, 20 World Cup qualifiers, 16 away from home, it has been tough but we did it.”