OF LATE, there has been a lot of “wrong noise” in the corridors of power at the Premier Soccer League (PSL), mainly emanating from the way the league has handled its major sponsors.
It was clear from the Dynamos-Highlanders league match a few weeks ago that something was amiss at the PSL. The league has a sponsorship contract with Delta Beverages and any league match is played under the auspices of that agreement.
Any match outside that pact becomes a social match. The attempt by BancABC to incentivise the Dynamos-Highlanders match was wrong. BancABC have been sponsoring football for a long time now and should have known from the start that their action was against the Delta-PSL pact. We will forgive them as we believe they dealt with the wrong people at the PSL who misinformed them. It was, therefore, within the powers of Kennedy Ndebele, the PSL chief executive, to notify the bank that its action was in breach of the PSL contract with Delta and the blue chip company would have all the reason to pull out.
He did that and put across the rules and regulations for everyone to see. Unfortunately, for those not so gifted with football lingo, Ndebele was seen as trying to throw spanners in BancABC’s works and Twine Phiri, as the head honcho at the league, has to act to protect his secretariat.
BancABC are the sponsors of Dynamos, Highlanders, Black Mambas and the Super Eight Cup. One would have thought that by now, they, together with the league, should be working on mending their relationship to allow the competition to proceed next season. Instead, we still hear of tremors from the disastrous stunt. So going forward, the 2013 programme should be put in place now, as next year will be too late.
The confusion over the Mbada Diamonds Cup could have been avoided by simply following the rule book and the Confederation of African Football’s numbering of cup games and letting the secretariat work on that, than for the dirty politics of backbiting, secret deals and meetings of the PSL to come out in the open and soil the name of the sponsor. Clearly, Mbada are not happy about all this and they made it clear to Phiri in a letter last month. The sooner the league explains itself and engages the sponsor, the better for the 2013 continued sponsorship from Mbada. A stitch in time saves nine; this has to be done now and certainly not next season.
The clubs are already boiling over these issues and the SuperSport deal and the executive committee should work overtime to right all these wrongs before the next annual general meeting.
We need the league to be more progressive, more engaging and more worried about the future and the continued existence of its partnerships with various stakeholders going forward. The game of football is no longer a past-time, it is an industry, keeping many a family alive and creating employment in downstream and upstream industries.