How much money is being pumped into football?

People feel that football in Pakistan is a poor man's sport but a total of Rs 400 million is spent on Karachi's big leagues alone. Where does the money go?

Mohd Khanani August 07, 2010

Most people feel that football in Pakistan is a poor man's sport while many other sports like squash and tennis are not given this tag. Football may be played by poor people but that does not mean it is a sport with no money rather it may be the most well financed sport after cricket and hockey.

Karachi plays host to 3 large leagues, Club Football League, Pakistan Premier League and Geo Super League. Each of these leagues is backed by large sponsors.

The most expensive league was the Geo Super League which had sponsorships totaling a staggering Rs 90 million. This was followed by the Club Football League whose organizers spent Rs 30 million on the league. Finally comes the Pakistan Premier League which has an annual expenditure of Rs10 million.

Apart from this the 15 participating departments from Karachi spend approximately Rs 2.5 million a month during the 4 month season and Rs1 million a month during the 8 months off-season. So the yearly expenditure by the 15 departments equals Rs270 million. This means a total of Rs 400 million is spent on the big leagues alone.

This is followed by the smaller tournaments. There are approximately 1,000 small tournaments a year in Karachi spending Rs50,000 each on average. Which totals Rs50 million being spent on smaller tournaments a year.

This is then followed up by ground maintenance. The 20 grass grounds in Karachi spend close to Rs 0.4 million a year on maintenance and the 100 mud grounds spend approximately Rs50,000 each a year. That makes a total ground expenditure of Rs18 million a year.

Finally, we come down to clubs. The 700 clubs in Karachi spend around Rs 0.1 million a year each. That means these clubs are spending a total of Rs70 million a year.

Then come the academies that have been also been generating large amounts of revenue. There are 15 smaller profit academies generating approximately Rs100,000 a month which means they are generating a revenue of Rs18 million a year. Then there are  the 2 large academies. The biggest is  Zamzama United which has a monthly revenue of around Rs3 million a month from ground bookings, over 600 players paying Rs2,500 a month and sponsors. While Karachi United has a monthly revenue of approximately Rs0.75 million a month. These academies earn a total of  Rs45 million a year. The academies make a whopping profit of Rs63 million.

Added up these figures mean a grand total of approximately Rs601 million is being spent on football in Karachi every year. While that equals only the average fee ($7 million) spent on signing a player in the world's biggest leagues it is still a lot of money and should rapidly increase the standard of football in Karachi but so far it has failed to do so.

Mohd Khanani The founder and president of Fanats FC and the youngest D-Certificate football coach ever, Mohammad writes on local football issues.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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