SWINDON Town midfielder Jack Payne said he would consider staying at the County Ground next season if he was assured the club would be competing for promotion in League Two.

The London-born midfielder had never experienced a relegation before this season, but his one-season stint at Swindon saw Payne part of a team that finished second bottom of League One.

And despite signing a two-year contract at SN1 last summer, on Tuesday evening, Payne revealed he has a relegation clause in his contract that would allow the 26-year-old to move on in the next few months without Town acquiring a transfer fee.

However, the former Lincoln City man said there were no guarantees that he would definitely depart soon – instead, saying he would rather be happy and winning than playing at a higher level but losing most weeks.

Payne said: “This season, it’s been awful, and I’ve hated it. Losing most weeks, it does affect you – it ruins your mood for a long time.

“The main thing I want next season is to be in a successful team and a happy environment.

“If I see Swindon being a club where things are going to be completely different and there’s going to be a good environment then we’ll see.”

Payne was announced as the Swindon Town Official Supporters Club player of the season earlier this week while also finishing as runner up in the Swindon Advertiser STFC player of the season poll.

The 26-year-old said personal accolades are all well and good, but that nothing beats winning as a team every week – something he listed as priority number one when deciding where abouts he will play his ninth season as a professional.

Payne said: “I’ll always enjoy myself as long as I’m playing football, but I want to be at a club where I’m winning most weeks and I’m fighting at the top end of the table as opposed to the bottom.

“I’d rather be at Swindon next year fighting for promotion rather than just going to a League One club that is scrapping for relegation again. I don’t want to be involved in that again because it’s horrible.

“The main thing is, I want to be at a club that is ambitious and is seeking a positive season really. I want to get back to winning ways – that’s the main thing for me.”