Swansea City playing for cash during Premier League run-in
SWANSEA City are playing for pounds this spring with around £500,000 per Premier League place on offer to Michael Laudrup's men.
Swansea have already reached the 40-point safety mark with a whopping ten top-flight games still in front of them.
And with a first major trophy on the mantelpiece after the Wembley triumph over Bradford City, they know 2012-13 will be remembered as one of the great Swansea seasons regardless of results from here on in.
But because of the pay structure in place at the Liberty, Laudrup's players still have plenty of cash incentives to push them through until May 19.
There is around £750,000 in prize money on offer to clubs per place in the Premier League — with the side who finish bottom earning that sum and the title-winners banking in the region of £15 million.
And it is understood that at Swansea, around two-thirds of that cash goes directly to the players.
Swansea are known for their careful financial approach and, despite their huge progress in recent seasons, are thought to remain among the lowest-payers in the top division.
But they balance that out by offering big rewards for success on the pitch.
And that means that while salaries at the Liberty may be dwarfed by those on offer elsewhere, the bonuses at Swansea are bigger even than those offered by the top clubs. It is thought Brendan Rodgers's players shared a prize pot worth around £5.5 million on the back of last season's 11th-place Premier League finish.
With the top ten beckoning this time around and European qualification in the bag, a significantly larger sum looks like being paid out to Garry Monk and Co when this campaign comes to an end.
And the club's owners hope what is an unusual bonus system will help ensure the players' attitude is spot on right through until the end of the season.
Swansea made it to 40 points with victory over Newcastle United last weekend, meaning the pressure is off ahead of Saturday's trip to West Bromwich Albion. Monk hopes to keep his place in central defence at The Hawthorns with Chico Flores still recovering from ankle ligament damage.
Winger Wayne Routledge, meantime, is being mentioned as a potential England international.
There are suggestions that Roy Hodgson could give Routledge his first senior call ahead of England's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro later this month.