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BPL prize money shrinks

Publishing Date : 17 September, 2019


Botswana Premier League board has agreed unanimously to decrease the league’s prize money after the league lost more than half P8 million in sponsorship following acrimonious decision by title sponsor, Botswana Telecommunication Cooperation (BTC).

BTC are the current title sponsors of the elite league and signed a 3 year contract with Botswana Football Association (BFA). The two parties had agreed on a P39 million sponsorship that was to expire next year. The deal was worth P13 million per season, but the value has since plummeted to P5 million this season. The move therefore means the ultimate league winners will no longer get a whooping P 1.2 million as it has been the case for the past 5 seasons. It is rather indicated that the champions will go home a paltry P 600 000.

However, clubs are asked to remain calm under the storm as partners will be coaxed to at least augment the clubs’ monthly grants.  The BFA has already announced a new partnership with Barclays bank-soon to be renamed to ABSA- to help close the widening gap as BTC thinks to pull back. However clubs continue to cry foul that the grants that come with this sponsorship fall short to assist in their daily administration and as such the reduction will even make matter worse. According to the initial agreement, clubs were getting P35 000 as mobilization grants over a period of 8 months.

BFA says it is eager to increase the monthly grants with the arrival of Barclays sponsorship. Early in February of this year, BTC had drawn the BFA/BPL to clause 5.1 of the Agreement, in which the BFA undertook to operate the Premier League in accordance with renowned international best practices.

BTC is said to have been deeply concerned by the constant negative publicity incurred by BPL and its structures regarding the mother body’s management of football. It is said the recent developments damaged the reputation of the BTC brand as the main sponsor of the Premiership. Before chopping down the finances, BTC had raised three issues they feel BFA and BPL have seriously neglected.

BTC says it was grossly offended by the issue of e -ticketing. It is said that there was an agreement to the effect that the sponsors will get 5 Pula for each ticket sold by premier league clubs. Recently, the clubs have not been using the system and this has obviously harmed BTC’s supposedly income. Moreover, the sponsors had wanted to see their logo appearing on the match day tickets.

The second matter raised by the sponsors is of television rights. BTC is annoyed that BFA is dangerously trampling upon the terms and conditions of the contract. BTC clearly states that they agreed with BFA that a total of 60 games will be televised in a season, but to this date, this has not been happening. It is speculated, however, that only one third of the games have been televised.

The broadcasting issue comes afar. BFA has all the years cried foul that Btv lacks capacity to satisfy their partners’ demands and often times, they find themselves negotiating with their hands tied at the back as there is only one television station in the country. BTC has further complained that agreements reached concerning the BTC Charity Cup have not been reached to this far end.



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