The winner of this year’s Champions League takes home a $1.5-million prize, which at the current exchange rate comes in at around R14,8 million.
It would be the biggest individual prize for any South African club, considerably more than Pirates collected on their biggest payday to date, when they won the PSL last year and took home R10-million from sponsor Absa.
But Champions League success also opens the door to participation in December’s Fifa Club World Cup, in Morocco, in which the spoils will be even more lucrative.
Should Pirates qualify for the tournament in Morocco, Fifa takes care of all their travel costs and expenses and they are guaranteed $500000 just for pitching up.
Africa’s representatives have been drawn to play Asia’s winner in the quarter-finals.
Should Pirates win that, a semifinal place would guarantee them a minimum of $2-million.
First prize is $5-million, the runners-up get $4-million and the third place play-off winner $2.5-million.
That is likely to be pure profit for Pirates although the Champions League payout has in all likelihood been decimated already by all the travel expenses the club has incurred on trips to the Comoros, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Egypt (three times), Tunisia and Zambia in this year’s competition
Their chartering of a plane to take them to Congo Brazzaville to play against AC Leopards in the group phase of the tournament last month reportedly cost about R800000.
CAF also has some odious expenses that it piles onto the finalists, but South Africa must feel fortunate that they are not hosting the second leg of the final.
Champions League rules state that the host association of the first leg of the final pays for – as is the case for all matches – the travel, stay and fees of the match commissioner, referee and assistants. They are economy class fares.
For the second leg, which will be played in Cairo on November 10, the hosts must pay for the match commissioner and referees plus first class travel and stay of the CAF president, plus his daily allowance of some R10000.
The costs include accommodation and transport for the members of the CAF inter-club competition committee (22 members, but including CAF president Issa Hayatou and Pirates boss Irvin Khoza).
The host must also pay for accommodation and transport for the referees committee (eight officials); the emergency committee (six officials); the general secretary and his assistant; and the disciplinary board (13).
If Pirates win the Champions League, they will also play in the Super Cup in February against the winner of the African Confederation Cup.
There is little cash to be garnered in that affair.
Bucs face Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League two legged-final clash. First, at Orlando Stadium on Saturday at 8:30 pm, and second leg in Cairo.
Meanwhile, Pirates coach Roger de Sa has decided to let his players “put their feet up and relax” before their CAF Champions League Final clash with Al Ahly on Saturday.
De Sa says his players’ performance in the Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs last weekend indicated that fatigue is setting in, prompting him to recommend some down-time.
“I decided I wanted to keep up the momentum and stick to a winning formula although I had thought of resting many of the key players,” De Sa tells BBC Sport.
“It was a call I made only late and after pondering both arguments. But it was obvious we were very tired on Saturday and so this week it will be about putting our feet up and relaxing before the Ahly game.”