PETALING JAYA: There will be no reward for mediocre fare in Premier I this season.
And the FA of Malaysia (FAM) have decided to reduce the number of teams eligible for rewards under their cash incentives scheme in the competition. Only the top five finishers, instead of 10, will be rewarded. But there is no change to the scheme for Premier II.
The decision means that the total cash incentives offered to teams in Premier I has been slashed by RM105,000 – from RM389,000 to RM284,000. Last year, the rewards amounted to a total of RM1.3 million.
Rewards are given to teams for their standings in the first and second round. The top five teams will receive the same amounts ranging from RM20,000 to RM40,000. But there will be none for sixth to 10th placed teams, who received amounts ranging from RM5,000 to RM17,500.
The competitions committee chairman, Datuk Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad, said they wanted all teams to aim higher and not be satisfied with mediocre finishes in the league.
“This is to push teams to go forward. Why are they fighting for ninth and 10th places when they should be vying for the higher positions at the top of the table? We need to instil a sense of fighting spirit in teams to strive for excellence,” said Redzuan yesterday.
The incentive scheme for the M-League was introduced in 2001.
There are also schemes for teams who progress to higher stages of the respective competitions in the President's Cup, FAM Cup, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.
Redzuan said that the review of the incentive schemes was carried out mainly for Premier I.
There are 13 teams in the fray following the withdrawal of Negri Sembilan Chempaka because of financial constraints this year. Perak are the defending champions and the others in the competition are Selangor, Pahang, Johor FC, Terengganu, Kelantan, Malacca, Kedah, Penang, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak and newly-promoted Malacca Telekom.
In the 12-team Premier II competition, the top team in the first and second round will get RM20,000 while the fifth-placed team will receive RM5,000.
The four winners in the Malaysia Cup group competition will receive RM20,000 each. The semi-finalists get RM50,000 each and the finalists RM100,000 each.
In the FA Cup, the semi-finalists receive RM10,000 each while the finalists will fight for the winners' purse of RM100,000. The losers get RM50,000.
Besides the RM1.3 million offered for successful teams under the incentives scheme last year, there was also another RM925,000 in total prize money for the medal winners in eight competitions, including the Premier I, Premier II, FA Cup, FAM Cup and President's Cup.
Much of the money for the FAM's incentives scheme and prize money for the competitions comes from the RM30 million annual sponsorships they receive from Dunhill. But they have to part ways with Dunhill at the end of next year because manufacturers of cigarettes can no longer be associated with sports.