Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley will share out £1million between Newcastle's staff if the Magpies beat Arsenal – but the players will see none of it.
Ashley will hand the windfall to non-playing and coaching staff if Alan Pardew's men end a difficult season in style – with everyone from the tea lady to the kit man in line for a pay-out.
The Gunners arrive at St James' Park needing a victory to guarantee a top-four finish with north London rivals Tottenham, who face Sunderland at White Hart Lane, hot on their heels.
Newcastle secured their Premier League status with a 2-1 win at QPR last weekend, but desperately want to end their campaign with three points having lost 3-0 to neighbours Sunderland and 6-0 to Liverpool in their last two home games.
Ashley grew up a Chelsea fan and any result for Newcastle will ensure the Blues finish above the Gunners in the table.
The Magpies could yet finish as high as 10th if they beat Arsenal, although even that would fall short of expectations after last season's heroics.
However, the difference between finishing 17th and finishing 10th is £5 million in prize money which would more than cover the pay-out to staff.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew drew controversy earlier in the week by seeming to suggest that his side was not bothered by the outcome of the match.
However Pardew said: "Reporters took my little joke suggesting we didn't care about this game out of context.
"I can assure everyone that we are determined to be at our best against Arsenal, as we owe our supporters a strong display after our last two performances at St James' Park fell a long way short of the standards we have set."
A Newcastle employee is quoted in the Sunday People as saying about the potential bonus: "We were absolutely gobsmacked when we were called into a meeting with Mr Ashley and absolutely stunned when we heard his plan.
"It would be like winning the lottery for most of us.
"And we have every confidence the lads will see off Arsenal."