BY KENNETH NYANGANI
NEWLY-Promoted Premiership side Manica Diamonds are close to sealing a kit sponsorship deal with Umbro to follow on the footprints of Zifa, who clinched a contract with the England-based sportswear company early this month.
The club yesterday confirmed that they were negotiating with the sportwear manufacturing company.
“Yes, we are negotiating with Umbro, but they are not the only company that we are talking to,” Manica Diamonds secretary-general Sugar Chagonda.
“We are also negotiating with quite a number of sportswear organisations. The reason is that we want to have a best and better deal.”
Chagonda is a Zifa board member, and was part of the team that helped negotiate a three-year deal between Umbro and the country’ football mother body that was announced on February 4.
While Chagonda said his team was yet to make up their mind on their kit sponsor for the season, a source told NewsDay Sport that they had settled for Umbro and the two parties were tying some lose ends, adding a deal would be announced soon.
Umbro, according to the source, will provide the team with all sporting apparel to use this year, and will renew the contract if they are satisfied.
“The deal is almost done, and should be announced by the end of this week” the source said.
“There are some few things that we are still negotiating, otherwise it’s a done deal. Umbro will provide us with jerseys for the team and 2 000 replicas which we think will benefit the team financially.”
The well-resourced Manica Diamonds are living no stone unturned in their preparations for a maiden appearance in the top-flight league, where they are aiming a top-four finish at the first attempt.
The Gem Boys have been one of the busiest in the transfer market and have acquired experienced players such as Patson Jaure, Jorum Muchambo and Peace Makaha.
If the Umbro deal falls through, as is expected, it will be the second time this month that the English company will be announcing a partnership in Zimbabwe after they recently signed a three-year contract to kit all the country’s football national teams.
They will supply the teams with full consignment of training, travelling gear and playing kits.