The effects of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation’s (BTC) threats and subsequent reduction of sponsorship money to the Botswana Premiaer League (BPL) are being felt, as teams will now settle for lower prize monies.
BTC has reduced this season’s sponsorship money to just P5 million because, in their view, they do not get value for their money. One of the things that BTC complained about was that some teams were issuing tickets that did not bear the company logo.
This followed the BPL’s decision to hand over the ticketing to the clubs. However, BPL board chairperson, Seiphetlho Sefhako said ticketing has since been handed back to the Premier League office.
The BTC contract is on its last season of a three-year deal and Sefhako said they are trying to do everything right before engaging the company for renewal. “Firstly, we have to do things right and fix whatever wrongs we have done before we can discuss anything with them regarding the future,” he said.
Another partner, broadcaster Botswana Television (Btv), is also on the last lap. The cashless deal, which was signed a couple of seasons ago has been largely blamed for the financial struggles faced by the clubs due to their lack of earnings from the agreement. Following BTC’s decision to reduce the sponsorship, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) had to run around to try and rescue the situation.
The association managed to secure P7 million from Absa. Although the money could not completely plug the gap left by BTC, the BPL board decided to start the season while they continue to look for other partnerships. Sefhako said the prize money would definitely be reduced.
The board was scheduled to meet last night to discuss the budget for the season and how they are going to break down the prize money. “Prizes will change and we are meeting this evening (Thursday) to discuss the budget and agree on the prizes,” he said yesterday.
Sefhako said the focus would be on assisting clubs with the running of their day-to-day affairs. He said they have since agreed that unlike in the past, the home team will get 60%, while the visitors, pocket 40% from the gate takings. In the past the host team took home all the remaining revenue from the ticket sales after deduction of some levies.
He said this is part of some of the initiatives that have been taken to try and assist clubs to be able to run their affairs amid the challenging financial situation. Sefhako also said referees, who have been owed last season’s payments, have been cleared ahead of the start of the season.