The Botswana Premier League (BPL) has reminded clubs to submit two signed jerseys and soccer balls each, as per the agreement of a sponsorship deal with Barclays Bank Botswana.
The bank inked a two-year deal with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) worth P7.6 million over two years in August.
Apparently, in the contract, the clubs are supposed to supply the balls and jerseys, but some have cried foul, arguing they do not have a budget to purchase the items.
This week, the BPL wrote to clubs, reminding them of their obligations, with teams expected to have complied by tomorrow’s deadline.
“According to the BFA and ABSA (Barclays) sponsorship contract, each club is obliged to provide the following; two signed club jerseys and two signed footballs, per club. It is in this regard that we request the signed jerseys and signed footballs before the 2nd of November 2019,” the BPL said in a memorandum to the clubs.
Most clubs are beset with financial challenges, and argue that purchasing new balls and additional replica jerseys will squeeze their bottom line.
“We don’t have a budget for this. They expect us to provide 10 with two signed jerseys and soccer balls. It is week seven and we have already done our budgets.
Where do we get money for the extra balls that we can give to the sponsor? They must provide balls, and we will have the players append signatures,” Notwane spokesperson, Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said.
Extension Gunners chairperson, Tariq Babitseng, who has been fighting with the BFA over his legitimacy, said the association sent them the reminder about the balls and jerseys request.
“We just received a directive and we said we have to comply. The BFA has said it doesn’t want to deal with anyone at Gunners because there are two committees, but they sent us the letter this week,” Babitseng said. He added that they were not aware of the requirement in the Barclays contract.
Jwaneng Galaxy spokesperson, Tankiso Morake said they complied and supplied the requested items this week. “We had to comply. When they say ‘comply’ there is no way out, but there are some struggling clubs out there,” Morake said.
A club official speaking on condition of anonymity said it is an unfortunate arrangement, where the BPL takes from struggling clubs. “There is nothing wrong with the sponsor demanding balls, but the BPL or BFA was supposed to facilitate and assist struggling clubs.
Some of them are battling to give their players transport fares, and we expect them to buy balls to give to the BPL?”