THE 2012 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League came to an end on Saturday, capped by a fine performance from “double double” winning league and cup champions Dynamos.
REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI SPORTS EDITOR
Dynamos beat Highlanders to the league title on goal difference last week before defeating Monomotapa 2-0 in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final on Saturday, a match beamed live by pay-per-view giants Supersport.
That, according to Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Twine Phiri, was the hallmark of a successful season that saw the second edition of million-dollar Mbada Diamonds Cup getting bigger and better.
Forget the NetOne-BancABC squabbles, Phiri said, and brace yourself for an exciting 2013 season which will have three cup competitions.
Dynamos will feature in the season opening Charity Shield against Monomotapa, while the top eight from this season — including new comers Buffaloes — will battle in the Super Eight.
“First I would like to congratulate Dynamos for winning the league and cup double. They showed they are a big club as competition was stiff, with Highlanders also challenging while Monomotapa reached the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
“For us at the PSL, this was a brilliant season and the coming in of Supersport was a major achievement.
“Let me say, clubs should look forward to bigger and better rewards as we go ahead because there was this notion that the deal was unclear. Everything was done above board and clubs were actually paid their grants last week.
“The board of governors approved everything at the extra-ordinary general meeting. This is a flexible deal which can be renegotiated at any time. Nothing is cast in stone and clubs know that as long as Supersport is happy, they will also be happy.”
The league inked a six-year deal with the pay-per-view giant which will see clubs getting $25 000 in 2013, $26 750 in 2014 and 2015, $28 622; 2016, $30 626; 2017, $32 769 — all that can be renegotiated.
Four games were broadcast live by Supersport — two from the Mbada Diamonds Cup final and two from the league, as the deal had been signed late.
In Kenya, Supersport signed its first contract with Kenya Premier League in 2008 worth $13,5 million before adding a five-year extension to the deal in mid-2010 worth Kshs900M to run up to 2015.
Since then, match coverage has increased from 22 in 2008 up to 90 matches expected to be screened this season. This has enabled the screening to move from the traditional Nairobi City up to other towns in Kenya.
The television giant also covers the Zambian, Ugandan, Ghanaian and Nigerian top-flight leagues.
“We had challenges with both the NetOne Charity Shield and the BancABC Super Eight, but we have worked around. Both competitions will be on next season.
“The secretariat is already working on the 2013 calendar because we have said we want a final programme before the end of the year. We also want dates in time for the two competitions and the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
“Remember, when you are dealing with sponsors, you cannot have their dates clashing.
“We are grateful to Mbada for being with us and we look forward to a continued relationship that will be beneficial to the clubs and the sponsor.
“Castle Lager are with us again and as you might have heard today (yesterday), they are pleased with the way the league is run and we are on course for new talks even before it expires. We are grateful for their continued support,”
Patricia Murambinda, Delta Beverages marketing manager was quoted yesterday as saying: “We are going to review our relationship with the PSL next year when we take stock of the past two years and then see the way forward. At the moment we have not met on the issue, but I must confess that we are generally happy with the way things have been going on so far.”
The two have a three-year deal worth $600 000.
Winners Dynamos will get $70 000 while second-placed Highlanders get $50 000.
The sponsorship caters for the end-of-year awards that will be held on December 14.
The Soccer Star of the Year and his two runners-up, the best goalkeeper, most disciplined team and Coach of the Year will be honoured at the event.
On the issue of violence by fans, especially involving Dynamos and Highlanders fans, Phiri said: “Fans must simply accept that referees’ decisions are final and no one can change that and any match has to produce three results — a smile for a win, a draw or a loss.
“We don’t want to see violence at stadia. It kills the relationship between the fans and between the sponsors and the league. It must stop.”