This year’s figure of N200 million represents an increase of 25 per cent from last season.
The champions of the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season are to get N40m 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 from a total of N200 million set aside by the LMC.
The winner between the two contenders for the final position on the league table at the end of the season on Sunday gets the N40 million cash prize.
The LMC said in a statement by its official, Harry Iwuala, that last season, the highest payout of N30 million from the Merit Award went to Enyimba International from a pool of N150 million.
The statement said that this year’s figure of N200 million represented an increase of 25 per cent.
“The Merit Award pool has been witnessing an annual progression from N50 million in 2012/13 to N75 million in 2013/14 season and now N200 million.
“The top three clubs on the final table usually received the chunk of the Merit Award which supports them financially in their preparation for the CAF Club competitions the next season,’’ it said.
According to figures released by the LMC, the champions would have received a minimum of N90 million in all direct payments for the 2016 season.
“This will include the Basic Award which comprises of pool of funds shared equally among all the 20 participating clubs and 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 18 years and hosting live broadcast matches.
“The lowest placed team in the NPFL this season would have received up to N55 million in direct payments from the LMC from all payment centres,’’ the statement said.
It explained that in addition to the direct payments, clubs also benefitted from other indirect payments such as free registration of players and officials and free insurance.
Other benefits, it added, were 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.
They need a point to guarantee the title, while Rivers United must secure 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.