Champions of the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season stand to win N40 million from the Merit Award of the League Management Company (LMC).
Rangers International of Enugu and Rivers United of Port Harcourt are the two clubs in contention for the big prize money.
The reward is from a total of N200 million pool the LMC has set aside as reward for final positions on the league table at the end of the season on Sunday.
Last season, the highest payout from the Merit Award, which went to Enyimba International, was N30 million from a total pool of N150 million. This year’s total figure of N200 million represents an increase of 25% over last year’s.
The Merit Award pool has been increasing annually, from N50 million in 2012/13 to N75 million in 2013/14 and now N200 million.
The top three clubs on the final table usually received the chunk, which supports the clubs’ preparation for the CAF Club competitions the next season.
According to figures released by the LMC, the champions will have received a minimum of N90 million in all direct payments for the 2016 season.
This includes the Basic Award, which comprises pool of funds shared equally by the 20 participating clubs; the Merit award paid to clubs based on their final position on the table, and the Football development award.
There is also the bonus award paid to clubs based on performances, including incentives for improving match attendance, away wins/draw, fielding players under the age of 18 and hosting live broadcast matches.
The lowest placed team in the NPFL this season will thus receive up to N55 million in direct payments from the LMC from all payment centres.
“In addition to the direct payments, clubs do also benefit from other indirect payments such as free registration of players and officials, free insurance, payment of match officials’ indemnities and hotel accommodation as well as sponsored seminars and other engagements funded by the LMC,” the company stated.
Rangers are three points ahead of Rivers United, with the Flying Antelopes hosting El-Kanemi Warriors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, now called The Cathedral by Enugu fans, in the last game.
Rangers need a point to guarantee the title while Rivers United go hunting for three points in Uyo against Akwa United.
The Port Harcourt side will seek to win big while hoping that Rangers will falter against their visitors.