THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) Annual General Meeting takes place in Harare on Saturday and clubs are clear on the issues they want clarified — the Supersport television rights deal and proposed new levies from Zifa.
REPORT BY SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA/VITALIS MOYO
The PSL clinched the SuperSport deal that saw the live-broadcast of some matches towards the end of the 2012 season. This is set to move a gear up with 60 matches scheduled to be broadcast this year — some in the evenings.
Clubs are also expecting to receive the 2013 consolidated calendar of events that will include the Warriors’ World Cup, Chan and Cosafa commitments and Dynamos’ participation in the Caf Champions League.
The league season is expected to start a week after the NetOne Charity Shield Cup final, whose final date has not been set.
Buffaloes secretary Tendai Chitowa said: “The SuperSport deal is not very transparent. As a club, we do not even have the contract on the deal to see how we will benefit.
“We do not know how much SuperSport is paying a year to PSL. Last year, we were given amounts between $5 000 and $6 000, but we do not know how much had been deposited into the PSL account.”
“The PSL also requires that a club registers a player each year even though a player might have a long-term contract with a club. We feel that it is not necessary if a player has a long-term contract. The other issue is that we feel it is not right for the PSL chairman to be associated with any club. He will always be biased towards his team,” he said.
Caps United chief executive officer Joe Makuvire also spoke about the SuperSport deal.
“There is need for clubs to be clear on the Supersport deal. We should know how much we will get and how many matches will be screened.
“We also need to find out if games are going to be screened in such areas as Triangle and the Colliery Stadium and how the money will be distributed. We also need to find out the position of the league on the proposed Zifa levies. The levies have an implication on the clubs’ financial stability,” he said.
Dynamos vice-chairman Webster Chikengezha added his voice: “The registration fees for players and the proposed percentage clubs must pay are hefty. Smaller clubs might not feel it, but to clubs like Dynamos we will feel the pinch.
“We are already paying 20% to council and Zifa is proposing 8% and we also have to pay the PSL and the Sports and Recreation Commission. So we end up losing about 30 to 35% before the club expenses and that is draining clubs. That will kill football in Zimbabwe.
“What is in for clubs in the SuperSport deal? It was not much publicised. How much will we get? It is also important to address the issue of the relationship of individual club sponsors and the PSL. Clubs should come up with a position on that,” he said.
Chikengezha also said there was need to ensure the PSL executive has representation from the country’s biggest clubs, Dynamos and Highlanders, because they are the cash cows of the League.
Chicken Inn chairman Lifa Ncube said: “We need to look at the revised Zifa charges. We need to push for Zifa to reduce the charges. The rise from 1% is too much.
The player registration fee which went up from $40 to $100 is too much. We must lobby for more sponsorship because if it will be the same like last year, it will be difficult for clubs to cope,” he said.
However, Ncube said the SuperSport deal should be reviewed when the three year period is over.
Highlanders chairman Peter Dube said: “We want to go and review our football in the meeting. We want to look at what will help our football — where we can start and move our football to,” he said.
Hwange secretary Burzil Dube said: “We want more sponsorship and we want the corporate world to sponsor football. There is need for perpetrators of violence and teams to be held responsible for violence at matches so that this stops,” he said.
PSL chief executive Kennedy Ndebele said last night: “These issues will be on the agenda as we are reviewing the 2012 season and preparing for the new season. All important issues will be discussed. We are transparent and we hope that clubs will contribute positively to the development of the game.”