Cash windfall for Maritzburg United players

FILE IMAGE: Mohau Mokate of Maritzburg United celebrate goal with team mates during the Absa Premiership match between Baroka FC and Maritzburg United at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on May 11, 2019 in Polokwane, South Africa.
FILE IMAGE: Mohau Mokate of Maritzburg United celebrate goal with team mates during the Absa Premiership match between Baroka FC and Maritzburg United at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on May 11, 2019 in Polokwane, South Africa.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

In retaining their Absa Premiership status, Maritzburg United have ensured that they will keep their slice of the lucrative top league pie.

United secured their golden ticket to the top flight of SA football after winning the promotion/relegation play-offs midweek.

Coach Eric Tinkler completed his rescue mission after miraculously pulling the team from the bottom place to finish 15th and condemning Free State Stars to automatic relegation.

That second-from-bottom finish ensured that they give themselves a shot at redemption in the play-offs against the second and third place finishers in the National First Division (NFD).

Their survival ensured that the Team of Choice can continue to bank on the enticing R2.5m grant Premiership clubs receive every month.

In a year, this amounts to a cool R30m that clubs owners use to run their clubs. Not only that, at the beginning of the season clubs receive an ex-gratia payment of R4m to kick-start campaigns. United chairperson Farouk Kadodia admits that this money is the lifeblood of all clubs.

On top of this, top-flight clubs get participation fees and further potential earnings in the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup, depending on how far they go in the tournaments.

It is no wonder then that Kadodia promised his players bonuses of up to R100,000 each for winning the play-offs.

Had they been relegated to the NFD, the club would have faced the dire financial consequences of going from the R2.5m to a grant of R400,000 per month.

Kadodia admits that the financial implications of relegation would have been disastrous for his club.

"As you are aware, there is a big difference between the top and lower division financially," Kadodia said.

"Relegation has a huge impact on the budget of a club and we are just pleased that we managed to survive."

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