After enduring a dry season last year, it would appear good times will roll for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) this term, amid indications that the top-flight league is on the brink of securing a sponsor.
Sources on Tuesday revealed that a top mobile company had indicated that they wanted a marriage with the league which ran unbranded the whole of last year.
The source said: “The mobile company want to bankroll the PSL and very soon they will be revealing the details. They will be sponsoring the league for an amount just below $1 million.
“I can’t mention the exact figure but I can confirm that they have committed themselves to be part of the league in the next four years.”
Efforts to get a comment from PSL board of governors chairman Twine Phiri were unsuccessful as he was said to be on holiday while the mobile telephone company’s officials could not commit themselves.
Apart from the said company, believed to be NetOne, two other companies, a mobile company and a beverages manufacturing company, have also been cited as potential sponsors for the thirsty league.
But it would appear the NetOne will win the battle to sponsor “the most beautiful game” and a deal is expected to be finalised on Friday.
The Premiership finished the 2010 season without funding for the championship which was won by Motor Action. The league was last funded by CBZ Bank in 2009.
The absence of meaningful sponsorship for the local game has resulted in many players leaving the country for neighbouring South Africa where there are rich pickings.
The South African league cannot match Zimbabwean league in terms of standard but its remuneration is better.
Zimbabwe’s league is ranked the 12th best in Africa courtesy of a consistent run the continental Champions League by former champions Dynamos who have qualified for the mini-league stage successively in the past three years.
But the clubs who are mostly individually owned have been struggling to meet the costs for fulfilling fixtures.
The costs include paying players’ salaries, purchasing training gear and uniforms.
In recognition of the local league’s standing, the Confederation of African Football offered Zimbabwe four slots in the two continental competitions, namely the Champions League and the Confederations Cup.
Gunners and Highlanders turned down the opportunity to play in the second-tier Confederations Cup, although the Bulawayo giants were erroneously registered by Zifa and now face a three-year ban if they do not participate.
Champions Motor Action and first runners-up Dynamos will take part in the elite Champions League.
Motor Action have already started preparing for the competition after they were drawn in the preliminaries against relatively unknown Cnaps of Madagascar.
Mighty Bulls will host Caps at Rufaro during the weekend of 28-30 January.