The ongoing feud between sponsors of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL), NetOne and BancABC is, in our opinion, a result of failure to pay attention to detail whenever people make commitments.
Many a time people hasten to pop the champagne when they make agreements, but fail to read the small print for the implications of partnerships.
This could have been the case between the PSL and NetOne when they decided to stage the 2012 Charity Shield final between Dynamos and Motor Action last Sunday.
The PSL must have forgotten that in as much as they represent all the 16 clubs in the top-flight league, the teams are run autonomously.
There was a fierce row between the two sponsors which nearly saw the match pitting champions Dynamos and Motor Action being called off. That could have been a huge embarrassment for the PSL because they should have safeguarded against that in the first place. They have the power to do so.
In the dispute, Dynamos rejected the idea by Charity Shield sponsors NetOne to dump their kit which bore their official funders BancABC’s logo, something that riled the mobile network company who had another kit prepared for the Harare giants, specifically for that match.
NetOne’s argument is that they wanted to get maximum mileage from the match while BancAbc said they have an agreement with Dynamos which stipulates that the Callisto Pasuwa-coached team should always don kits emblazoned with BancABC’s logo at all times. The agreement is there and it is binding.
There was nothing NetOne could have done to reverse this, but the PSL surely could have done something. We sincerely believe the PSL should have done their homework when they entered into partnership with the Charity Shield sponsors.
The PSL must have consulted Dynamos to establish what kind of sponsors they had and their demands.
This could have equipped the authorities with some knowledge which they were supposed to pass on to NetOne. In turn NetOne would have been in a better picture to decide whether to sponsor the event or not.
One would be tempted to think Dynamos were correct because we rarely see teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona or Real Madrid changing their shirt sponsorship deals because they are playing in the Charity Shield or any other tournament.
It is the prerogative of the club to find a sponsor of their choice for as long as it is not in contravention with other deals.
We are aware that the PSL is coming from a background where they had a sponsors drought, but that should not blind them into entering hazy deals that might threaten the existence of present and future funders.
They must make it clear that while they are in charge of the league, the clubs operate autonomously, hence the need to respect their private commitments.