Stoke chief Peter Coates says the Southampton game could be worth as much as £5million and is demanding a performance.
The Potters travel to the south coast safe in the knowledge they will be in the Premier League next season but Coates says no-one can afford to take their foot off the pedal and start thinking about the beach.
A win would guarantee Stoke a top-ten finish, something the club have yet to achieve, and it will also mean extra cash for boss Tony Pulis to spend in the summer.
“The money available nowadays is enormous and that makes this such an important game for the football club,” said Coates. “Every game is important, but this one shows just how important financially, and professional players should always turn up with the right attitude.”
Stoke have been left to count the cost in the last two seasons with both Bolton and Wigan getting results and Coates does not want a repeat at St Mary’s.
“I can certainly remember the Wigan game,” added Coates. “That cost us about four places and a huge amount of money, about £2.5m I think. I certainly hope we don’t do the same on Sunday.”