Zimbabwe’s football Big Three — Dynamos Caps United and Highlanders — have clinched a huge sponsorship package from mobile telecommunications company, NetOne, NewsDay Sport has been told.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Officials at the company as well as the three clubs, which all endured a difficult season financially, are trying hard to keep everything under wraps, but according to information obtained, each of the three clubs would receive a staggering total package of between $350 000 and $400 000.
The package includes $50 000 for each of the three clubs that will be set aside for signing-on fees for their players in 2018, while salaries will be pegged at $500 per month per player.
The unveiling of the sponsorship package, according to informed sources, has been scheduled for the New Year.
NetOne is following in the footsteps of other networks around Africa like Vodacom and Orange. The company has sponsored the One Wallet Cup as well as bankrolling the Warriors.
The decision by the telecoms giant to partner the country’s Big Three must have been informed by their excellent relationship with Caps United, whom they partnered in their Caf Champions League adventure, where they reached the group stage for the first time in their history.
This is a welcome development for the country’s Big Three, who had endured losing several of their stars to cash-rich teams, especially to mining clubs FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum as well as How Mine.
Dynamos lost such players like Gift Bello and Brett Amidu to FC Platinum, while Qadr Amin also moved to the Zvishavane-based side before he went on to play for How Mine and Ngezi Platinum.
Other players such as Godknows Murwira, Tichaona Mabvura, Dominic Mukandi, Walter Mukanga and Kelvin Bulaji joined Ngezi Platinum, although some of them have been offloaded.
Caps United were also deserted by former skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani, who joined How Mine.
This also comes at a time Dynamos and Caps United are battling to keep their stars, as they prepare for the next term .
Dynamos vice-captain Obey Mwerahari and Players’ Player of the Year and Most Consistent Player Tichaona Chipunza will see out their contracts at the end of this month.
The club management has been handicapped in their negotiations, as they have been struggling to clear the arrears to enable players to commit themselves to new deals.
Dynamos players are owed bonuses from 14 matches, which include 10 wins and four draws.
The Glamour Boys pay their players a winning bonus of $200 and $70 for a drawn game.
The players have also been earning half salaries throughout the season, with their sponsors BancABC chipping in with the other half.
Nearly all Caps United players will also see their contracts expire at the end of the month.
The Green Machine owe their players three months’ salaries, but with prize money from their Caf Champions League participation expected any time, the Harare giants were always going to have no problems in clearing the arrears.
Highlanders players are also owed and the club has been robbed of its captain Rahman Kutsanzira, who is joining FC Platinum.