BY Kevin Mapasure
The Caps United management has dangled the entire Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions prize money in a bid to coax the players to play their hearts out against Chicken Inn and FC Platinum who are both two points behind them on the log table.
Of the title-chasing trio, Caps have endured the worst run in their last five matches, managing just one win, two draws and two defeats.
In comparison, second-placed Chicken Inn have three wins, one draw and one defeat while FC Platinum have collected the second highest number of points after posting two wins, two draws and a single defeat.
And to try and psyche up the spirits of the players ahead of the Harare derby against Dynamos tomorrow in a must-win match for the Green Machine, the management has told the players and technical team that the club will not take anything from the prize money.
A group of about 40 individuals, including 23 players and 16 technical team members, will share all the loot if the Green Machine manage to hold on to the top spot at the end of the season.
“The boys have been told that the club will not take anything from the prize money if the team wins the league title. All the money will be shared by the players, technical staff as well as office personnel,” a club official, who requested anonymity, said yesterday.
“So while we do not know the prize money yet, everyone is motivated to do well and win the league title. The motivation has always been there, but this is a big incentive and we are sure the team will do their best to win the championship.”
The Premier Soccer League and sponsors Delta Beverages are yet to announce this season’s prize money after promising earlier in the year that the package would be reviewed upwards, but the players know that they are set for a big bonus if they can coast to the podium.
Last season’s champions FC Platinum were given $100 000 for their efforts, but the amount is set to more than double this time around, given the rate of inflation obtaining in the country.
Delta increased the Chibuku Super Cup prize money from last year’s $75 000 to $225 000 for this year’s winners.
The runners-up will get $150 000.
If the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League winners’ prize money is pegged above that of the Chibuku Super Cup as it has been over the years, then Caps players could be looking at figures around $8 000 each, if they are to clinch the title.
After meeting Dynamos, Caps will still have to play Ngezi Platinum Stars away before hosting FC Platinum on the last day of this year’s edition.
Chicken Inn play Bulawayo Chiefs today, Herentals in their penultimate match of the season before they clash with TelOne, who are fighting to stay above the water line.
It’s not easier for FC Platinum, who play Chapungu in Gweru before they play Black Rhinos, while the Caps match concludes their season.