The England squad’s reward for winning the World Cup would be only half as much as Belgium stand to earn from lifting the trophy.
The Football Association has refused to release details of the bonus scheme, but it is believed they would share a £5 million pot for lifting the trophy. That would work out at around £217,000 each, which is only marginally more than what England’s highest earner, Harry Kane, on £200,000, pockets a week at Tottenham Hotspur.
Belgium’s squad would earn a £9.2 million bonus – which would work out at £400,000 each.
England manager Gareth Southgate would land a bonus of £1.5 million if he guides England to World Cup glory – £500,000 more than Belgium’s Roberto Martinez.
England have already guaranteed themselves a share of £1 million (£43,478 each) for reaching the last 16. They would have received nothing had they failed to get out of Group G.
Belgium’s players were guaranteed a share of £850,000 just for playing in the tournament, which has increased to £1.61 million (£70,000 each) for qualifying for the last 16.
The Brazil squad stand to earn £750,000 a man for winning the World Cup, with Germany on £350,000 each. England’s 1966 winners pocketed £1,000 each.
Winning the World Cup is worth £28 million to the victors’ federation, with the English and Belgian FAs already guaranteed £9 million for their teams qualifying for the knockout stages.
This World Cup is costing the FA less than the short-lived trip to Brazil did four years ago, but that does not mean it is cutting corners. The FA has taken the unprecedented step of sending staff to check out England’s team hotels at the venue of their games three days in advance to make sure they are well equipped for the arrival of Southgate and his players.
Kane is expected to be given the chance to add to his five World Cup goals against Belgium in Kaliningrad on Thursday night even though team changes will be made. Danny Rose and Gary Cahill hope to start for the first time in Russia.
Southgate would not confirm Kane’s inclusion, but said: “His scoring record of goals per game is outstanding. He has shown his value to us already both before the tournament and now during the tournament.
“I know he is incredibly proud already. He is only behind Gary Lineker in terms of World Cup goals for England and that is a wonderful personal achievement for him.
“Equally, he is the captain and he knows he will be judged on how far we go as a team. He wants to contribute to a winning team and he knows it is not as satisfying if you are a player scoring goals and the team does not win.”
Asked specifically whether Kane would start against Belgium, Southgate added: “As a manager, you have to think of the whole squad and then your second thought is for individuals and their own situations, and that is a really complex balance in any business where you are managing people. But I am sure we can get that right.”
There is a theory that finishing second in Group G would be favourable to England, but Southgate is adamant he is not yet trying to plot a route through the tournament.
“It is pointless me worrying about what hotel we might be able to stay in for the semi-final,” he said. “Let’s focus on Belgium. We want to keep winning and then, after that, we know where we go, who we will play against and we can turn our full attention to the knockout stages.
“We have known all along the two different possibilities, which hotels we would stay in, the travel and what that would alter about our programme. So, we have two documents in place ready to go, but in terms of which is better for us, we are just delighted to be in the second round. All our attention is on Belgium and trying to win the game.”
Kieran Trippier, who picked up a slight thigh injury against Panama, trained on Tuesday and, on his team selection issues, Southgate said: “It is impossible to make a decision that will please everybody, but that is often the way in football management.
“I have to make the best decisions for the group and for this game in particular and also for what we have to come, the importance of the matches we have to come.”