FIFA has, and makes, a lot of money. This is not a surprise, and if it is, hey there, pal! Welcome out from your cave! Hope you acclimatize quickly! Anyway, one of FIFA's lesser McDuck-sized rooms has a door marked TEAM BONUSES, and its piles of loose coins and jewels are earmarked for teams that send players to the World Cup.
This money isn't exactly a reward from a prize fund - it's not like the team with the most gets X, and the next team gets X minus 5%, etc. It also definitely isn't salary replacement money - it's more like a super-generous per diem, in which clubs get $2,800/day/player while that player's on World Cup duty. Why? Who knows. It's just a thing that probably started when $2,800/player/day was a meaningful sum to big clubs. Now, that's Barcelona's weekly office-supply budget.
Anyway, Arsenal, as you may have heard, sent a few players to the World Cup. They sent enough players, in fact, to get a check from FIFA for $1,081,267 (£715,126.04) in thanks for bestowing Lukas Podolski on the world stage. By my quick scan of the chart of who got what, that's the eighth-highest sum to be given - Bayern Munich topped the list at $1.73 million, while Ipswich Town was one of three clubs propping up the bottom of the table, getting $6,300 each.
In the grand scheme of things, of course, this money is relatively small - it's not like this £715K will allow Arsenal to go nuts in the transfer market or anything. I mostly just hope that this sort of payment is either divided equally among the entire underpaid-relative-to-the-team front office staff (receptionists, IT support, concession stand workers, museum cashiers, everybody) or used to throw one mother of a thank-you party for said staff.
(H/T to Sounder At Heart)