Rangers International or Rivers United will play for the league title and forty million naira on Sunday, the League Management Company has announced.
This is what the top side in the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will get out of the two hundred million naira total prize money set aside for the season.
Last season, the highest payout from the Merit Award which went to Enyimba International was N30m from a total pool of N150m and this year’s figure of N200m represents an increase of 25%.
The Merit Award pool has been witnessing an annual progression from N50m in 2012/13 to N75m in 2013/14 season and now N200m.
The top three Clubs on the final table usually received the chunk of the Merit Award which supports the clubs financially in their preparation for the CAF Club competitions the next season.
According to figures released by the LMC, the champions would have received a minimum of N90m in all direct payments for the 2016 season including the Basic Award which comprises of pool of funds shared equally amongst all the 20 participating clubs.
This also includes the Merit award paid to clubs based on their final position on the table, the Football development and the Bonus award which is 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 would thus have received up to N55m in direct payments from the LMC from all payment Centres.
A statement from the LMC explained that “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”.
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.
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.