As the words imply, prize money in sport exists essentially to reward teams or individuals for showing excellence in their particular pursuit.
It remunerates successful entities with something more tangible than trophies and titles.
More so today when it costs an arm and a leg to mount any sort of challenge at any level of sport.
Australian club football is no exception.
Football Federation Australia could do much worse than scrap an anachronistic agreement whereby any A-League club that makes money from the AFC Champions League must give up some of its profits to FFA and the other clubs.
This archaic ruling also applies to those lucky enough to play in the annual FIFA Club World Cup.
The agreed distribution formula for ACL profits is about 70 per cent to the participating club(s), 25 per cent to the other clubs and five per cent to FFA.
The percentages for the CWC are about 40 per cent to the participant(s), 56 per cent to the other clubs and four per cent to FFA.
Adelaide United, not for the first time, has done Australian football proud by reaching the quarter-finals of the 2012 Champions League where it faces familiar foe Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan over two legs.
The 32 participating clubs get a decent travel subsidy these days from Singapore-based World Sport Group which underwrites the competition but it is not enough to cover costs and it is fair to say that the Reds would have lost plenty of money had they failed to survive the group stage.
But they won their section and also a round of 16 tie against Nagoya Grampus of Japan.
Adelaide probably will only start to see some financial gain if it beats the Uzbek champion and reaches the semi-finals.
Qualifying for the last four would earn the club a guaranteed $US120,000 ($117,500), a spot in the final would net it $US750,000 while $US1.5 million is up for grabs for the winner.
If Adelaide does receive a return for its considerable investment, however, it will have to give up a portion of the profit to FFA and the remaining A-League clubs except Wellington Phoenix.
This is utterly ridiculous. More so since there exists no provision for FFA and the A-League clubs to share in the losses and bail out any club that suffers a deficit in Asia.
Our fledgling game needs to find ways to “encourage success not penalise it”, to pinch a line from Tony Abbott.
I know of at least three clubs who have deep reservations about the validity of this strange ruling that frankly does not appear to make sense.
The topic is expected to come up in the next Joint A-League Strategic Committee meeting.
Adelaide did not make any money from its remarkable 2008 ACL campaign until it reached the final and went on to finish fifth in the CWC in Japan.
Adelaide was horrified to learn that it had to share its prize money with FFA and the rest of the A-League clubs after spending a small fortune to get to that point.
To their credit FFA and the clubs sympathised with Adelaide's plight and are understood to have forfeited their share of the prize money the Reds had worked so hard to earn from the ACL.
The arrangement regarding the CWC stayed in place because FIFA pays for all travel and accommodation expenses of the participating teams.
FFA is believed to have since revised the percentages formula to give its successful representative clubs a bigger share of the pie but this measure still does not ease the burden.
It is probably too late to change the goalposts halfway through the Asian season so Adelaide might have to give up part of any profit should it get past Bunyodkor.
However FFA has enough time to rectify this glaring anomaly for the coming international season so our representative clubs will have an extra incentive to perform well in Asia and in so doing give themselves a sporting chance of making their bottom line look just a bit healthier.
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