West Ham will benefit both on and off the pitch if they are able to secure European qualification this season, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker delivered his verdict after it was reported the Irons’ squad is set for a bumper payday if they finish in the top four.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein reported West Ham players will share £10million in bonuses if they secure qualification for next season’s Champions League.
David Moyes’ side climbed to fourth on Sunday after they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the London Stadium.
“I don’t think it [Champions League qualification] is out of anybody’s minds at the moment,” Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
“Their first priority was staying in the Premier League, we didn’t know how West Ham were going to go this season.
“Now they’ve find themselves in an area they never thought they’d be in. What a great incentive it is.
“They’ve got themselves into a fantastic position and this could be a season where they find themselves in Europe – even if it’s just Europa League football. That’s a huge, giant step from where they were last season.
“It just shows the great job that David Moyes has done with the players, recruitment and everything that goes along with it.
“That will generate a lot of money, it will help bring players into the club going into the transfer market – just the fact they’re in Europe.
“There’s an opportunity there for them. You can’t just sit back and say ‘We’ve done Ok.’ No, it’s right there in front of them and there’s not many games left. They could cement themselves there. It’s a strange season so there might not be a better season to do the impossible.”