Botswana Premier League(BPL) title sponsor Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) is contemplating reducing sponsorship monies, a development which will see the league losing P5 million in the remaining period of the contract.
BTC agreed to extend its sponsorship to the country’s elite league in 2017, signing a new deal worth P39 million deal with local football federation. However, BPL’s failure to meet its contractual obligations has left the sponsor unimpressed. BTC’s latest move follows a series of complaints forwarded to the local mother body about the negative publicity surrounding the domestic game. In March of this year, the local network giants accused their partners of contract breach. At the time, BTC went to an extent of asking BFA to lay down reasons why the contract could not be terminated.
BTC in the winter of 2017, on top of the three year sponsorship deal with BFA and as a measure of seriousness introduced an off-the-season charity cup. But after deliberating on the response letter sent to them by the association sometimes this year, BTC took a stand not to terminate the contract, but to cut down sponsorship monies. BTC stands firm on their position that they are not getting what they bargained for.
According to WeekendSport sources, the two parties met on April 24th to discuss way forward. Sources say the BFA- BTC partnership has been relegated to secretariat level and is no longer a consultative issue at BTC board. This is primarily the reason some report indicates that the contract is about to be terminated.The sponsors want to reduce the seasonal P10 million monies to P 5 million. Whether both parties will eventually agree is subject to be known. But the association is not aggrieved by the BTC position; in fact BFA feels that BTC’s concerns are genuine and very much unpretentious.
“We have engaged BTC on the matter, in fact we feel their concerns are valid and need urgent response,” BFA chief executive officer Mfolo Mfolo said. BTC’s chief worry is that premier league games are not televised as agreed on the contract. This inability by the BFA has compelled their partners to demand respect for the contract. Last year alone, only 41 games were televised, 19 less of the agreed 60.
BTC is also grossly offended by the issue of e -ticketing. It is said that there was an agreement to the effect that the network cooperation will get P5 for each ticket sold by premier league clubs. Recently, the clubs have to not been using the system and this has obviously harmed BTC’s supposedly income. When approached for comment, the cooperate communications and public relation manager of BTC Golekanye Molapisi says he cannot discuss contractual matters with third parties. He acknowledges that, “there are problems in any partnership but they continue to engage each other on the way forward.”
BTC has over the years left a trail of lasting legacy on the local league. Although, time and again, the two parties battled contractual disputes, a common ground has always been reached for the betterment of the local game. Just after Mascom exited the football scene in 2008, BTC then trading as be- MOBILE came with a sponsorship value of P5 million. Throughout the years, the sponsors always found it fit to increase finances. In 2011-12, after the first contract expired, the local network giants increased to P8 million for the next three years. In 2014, they reached the P10 million mark before going up to 39 million two years ago.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.