As the final lap of the BTC Premiership season starts tomorrow, teams have nothing to play for after the Botswana Premier League (BPL) confirmed that there will be no prize money at the end of the season.
However, the BPL said it was pursuing alternative avenues with hopes of securing funding.
The current financial situation was brought about by the league’s sponsors, Botswana Telecommucation Corporation’s decision to slash funding from P13million to P5million for this season.
Absa Botswana (Barclays) came on board, but its P7million sponsorship over two years was insufficient to plug the gap.
“Due to the financial challenges, there are no prize money at the moment planned for the end of the season.
The clubs are aware of this situation. The Association is still pursuing different avenues to source funds. Should the initiatives bear fruits, the Association will reconsider this position,” the BPL said in a statement yesterday. The BPL season continues, but most of the clubs are already reeling from debts.
Over 50% of the teams depend on grants and prize money to stay afloat in a league that has seen the vast majority of sides face financial challenges. To add salt to the injury, monthly grants were last paid in September 2019 leaving clubs in a depressing state.
Meanwhile, the BPL has admitted challenges in the running of the league. The office has said it is faced with a lack of stadia, which affected fixture schedule.
Two matches, featuring
The BPL said the number of fans at stadia is down to a trickle. As fans continue to shun the playing fields, the BPL has adopted strategies to make the league attract the multitudes, which include activations.
Despite the depressing news, the battle on the field will resume this weekend after the festive season break. The Molepolole Sports Complex will host a double header tomorrow.
Molepolole City Stars take on second-placed Security Systems in an earlier kick-off before BDF XI welcome TAFIC. Orapa United face a visit from Prisons XI at the Itekeng Stadium while Morupule Wanderers and Miscellaneous battle it out at the Obed Itani Chilume.
Police XI visits Extension Gunners at the Lobatse Sports Complex. On Sunday afternoon, a classic Gaborone Derby between Township Rollers and Notwane takes the centre stage at the National Stadium while Gaborone United and Jwaneng Galaxy face off at the Lobatse Sports Complex and Gilport Lions host BR Highlanders at the Serowe Sports Complex. Afternoon games kick off at 3.30pm while evening matches start at 7pm.