Monday, January 14, 2008


Cough up

Sriwijaya's bank manager is going to be a happy little bunny as the club receive 2 billion rupiah for winning the Copa Indonesia from the sponsors including 500 million to help transport costs in the Asian Champions League. Which they won't need.

Both the Copa and the Liga are heavily sponsored by tobacco companies and it's probably fair to say if they withdrew their support the game as it is would probably collapse.

The Copa sponsors invested 8.77 billion rupiah in the 2007 Copa, nearly double the 4.85 billion that went on the 2005 Copa. Big money with lots of zeros. (1USD - approx 9300 rupiah).

So where does the money go? This seasons' pot is shared among 92 clubs and goes something like this:

Qualification round:
- Winner 25 million
- Loser 20 million

Round One (home and away)
-Winner 25 million
- Loser 20 million

Round Two (home and away)
- Winner 50 million
- Loser 20 million

Round Three (home and away)
- Winner 75 million
- Loser 30 million

Quarter Final (home and away)
- Winner 100 million
- Loser 40 million

Semi Final
- Winner 150 million
- Loser 60 million

Copa Winner - 2 billion
Runner Up - 750 million
3rd Place - 350 million

Best Player - 75 million
Top Scorer - 75 million
Fair Play - 75 million
Best Fans - 50 million

Persija for example received a total of 660 million for coming 3rd if I have done the maths correct. (25 + 50 + 75 + 100 + 60 + 350 = 660 million)

Take away the tobacco company and you have nothing. It ain't perfect but there are probably no companies in Indonesia that have pockets deep enough to get involved at the moment.

Even if you lose the money the clubs get may not cover their expenses. Perseman Manokwari from Papua lost their first leg at home to Sriwijaya 1-2. There was no way they were going to win the second leg so they decided to forfeit the game. They saved something like 100 million in travel expenses plus the awkwardness of flights here.

No doubt it's easy for us from the west to get on our moral high horse about the evils of tobacco getting involved in sport but it wasn't that long ago in England we had the Rothmans Isthmian League. On a similar scale the Australian Socceroos used to be sponsored by a tobacco company. As was the rugby league.

People want football. The sponsors and the FA are happy that attendances, well guesses, are up and some of the football has been of the highest standard. Top players thrive in top competitions and the likes of Goncalves and Ferry have shown the country the quality in Indonesia is of a high standard.

The rights and wrongs of tobacco involvement in sport should be debated and I believe here they will at some time but not yet.

Despite going to a good few games here in both the Copa and Liga, also sponsored by tobacco, I have never once felt tempted to try one of their products. I don't have a bank account with the people who sponsor the Premier League but I must admit I do enjoy the beer that sponsors Liverpool once in a while

Face it. The game is stuck with tobacco for the near future.


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