The Bangladesh Football Federation, over the past decade, has tended to different needs of the ailing football scenario of the country. The financial aspect of the game is one of the most significant among them.
After the initiation of the five-phase long football development plan, the federation made active efforts to improve the financial matters involved with the game, the most important of which is the salary of professional footballers.
According to official data, the average salary of professional footballers playing the domestic leagues was Taka 29,622 per month back in 2009 which was significantly poor.
However, under the reign of incumbent BFF President Kazi Salahuddin, the federation made sure that the players’ salary sees a constant hike.
Accordingly, following a consistent upward graph, the average salary of the players rose to Taka 81,265 per month in the current season.
With the money flowing in, the quality of players in the professional leagues has also seen an improvement.
However, there were too many foreign players in the leagues which hampered the development of local players.
Identifying the problem, BFF took steps to limit the number of foreign players each club could sign.
And due to BFF’s intervention, the number of foreign players has come down to 4 in the current season which, at one point, had risen to 7.
Furthermore, the quality and the quantity have also proven to be inversely proportional with more and more quality foreigners being attracted to the improving football scenario of Bangladesh.
Notably, keeping in line with AFC’s demands, BFF has also made sure that one of the four foreigners that each club signs is an Asian which resonates with AFC’s motto: “One Asia, One Goal”.
The salary of the players has been a key aspect in the recent improvement in quality of local football.
BFF made sure that the clubs fulfil all the criteria set by FIFA and AFC to compete in the professional leagues.
This forced the clubs to improve the quality of players, coaching staff, infrastructure etc. which has, in turn, amassed in the cash.
The minimum and maximum salaries of professional footballers back in 2009 were BDT 50,000 and BDT 10,00,000 respectively.
In 2019, even though the minimum has risen by only 10K, the maximum salary has risen to BDT 42,00,000; more than four times than the amount a decade ago.
Furthermore, the pay gap between the highest paid local player and foreigner also points out BFF’s effort to always keep country first. In the current season, the highest salary of a local player is BDT 42,00,000 whereas the highest paid foreign player got BDT 13,84,000.
These numbers are important pointers in understanding that BFF is indeed making football move in the right direction.
The number of teams in the top leagues has also increased with the current season of BPL consisting of 13 clubs in which a total of 402 players are registered.
There are other aspects as well. Because there is no professional club football for women, BFF provides a decent salary to the female footballers of the Elite Women’s Residency Camp.
Dividing the players into three categories – A, B and C – BFF pays the players BDT 10K, 8K and 6K per month.
With the ongoing ascending graph, BFF hopes that more and more sponsors will be interested to invest the country’s football arena which will help develop the game in future.