Barclays Bank of Botswana is reported to have rebuffed talks with the Botswana Premier League (BPL) on possibilities of becoming the second sponsor of the elite league, WeekendSport has been told.
The bank was identified by premier league board of governors at the beginning of the year to partner with the headline sponsors, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) mainly to augment a troubling perennial issue of grants. As thing stand, BTC agreed with the premier league that, as part of sponsorship deal, teams will be assisted with monthly grants of P 50 000 for administrative issues. It was discovered that these grants fall short in assisting a mere premier league club hence the idea of contacting the said bank.
Sources do not proudly maintain the stance of the bank following the hour in which negotiations failed, but said the Bank was approached because it once showed a keen interest in partnering with football. Information further state that Barclays tested ‘football waters’ when they sponsored the pre-season tournament called Kabelano charity Cup. It emerged that the bank was impressed by the results but what has triggered them to entertain a second thought is not known.
Some board of governors members however say that the bank had wanted to become the sole chief sponsors without necessarily getting aid from other party-allegations that the premier league cannot authenticate. When premier league Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Ntshinogang was questioned, he stated that he cannot discuss either the name of the bank partner of what has been discussed between his office and the other party. “It is not our custom to discuss issues of sponsorship with other parties, will the partner really accept this,” he rhetorically asked.
The issue of co-sponsorship cropped again when a couple of premier league teams evidently failed to pay players their salary dues. While all of the clubs were announced to have passed club licensing programme, it is still a sad story when it comes to financial sustainability. Fingers of blame are pointing at all directions some blaming these board chairmen for channeling the money to wrong destinations. It is said that these chairmen are not seriously advocating for their clubs while their sitting allowances and accommodations claim continue to mount.
Premier league is confident that this is the war the will eventually win. On one hand BTC remains the sole sponsor of the league. Recently they announced that they have renewed their partnership with the league. They also maintained that they have increased their sponsorship value together with winning prize. It however seem inadequate on the side of Thabo Ntshinogang’s run league house.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.