BLACKBURN Rovers' chief executive John Williams has admitted that Stern John's controversial late equaliser at the weekend cost the club a potential summer signing.

Rovers were heading for a 1-0 win against Birmingham City on Saturday when John popped up to score a late leveller in the 83rd minute.

That goal not only cost Rovers two places in the final Premier League table but also £1.1 million in lost revenue.

And Williams has conceded it was a major blow to lose the cash as Graeme Souness would have been given every penny of it to use in the transfer market. "It was a blow on Saturday - a serious blow," said Williams.

"The numbers are very tight and to draw a game and go down two places did cost us £1.1 million.

"In the context of trying to spend £4 million on new players this summer, that's a quarter of your money gone."

When asked directly if Souness would have been given the extra money to fund new signings, Williams answered: "Absolutely. There's no question about that.

"Everything we've got would have gone into football, apart from one or two minor capital projects we've got to do this summer."

In total, Rovers are thought to have earned around £21.1 million from the season just gone, based on their final league placing, the money made from TV games, and cup revenue.

In the Premiership, Rovers made around £20.9 million, taking into account their prize money for finishing 15th, plus TV cash (£12.9m per club plus £650,000 per live Sky game, £175,000 per PPV game), and Barclaycard sponsorship money (£0.8m per club).

On top of that, they are also thought to have made around £100,000 from the UEFA Cup and £100,000 from the two domestic Cup competitions.

However, those earnings look positively minuscule when compared to the big three of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, who made over £50 million each to emphasise the huge gap in earning potential between the clubs in the Champions League and the rest.

Wolves pulled in the smallest amount of all the top-flight clubs, earning £16.6 million, which was a whopping £40 million less than the total accrued by Arsenal, the league's eventual champions.

Referring to the summer ahead, Williams revealed that Rovers will have around around £4 million to spend in the transfer market, although some of that cash has also been earmarked for wages.

"Things are very, very tight. The basic premise of our business is we strive to break even, based on a mid-table finish," said the Rovers chief.

"This year, we haven't had that mid-table finish so it's difficult to see how we can throw off capital to buy players."

Rovers will look to stagger any transfer payments over a number of years in an effort to offset the costs this summer.