THE Premier Soccer League has threatened to call off Sunday’s match between Dynamos and Highlanders if the two clubs accept financial incentives announced by investment bank, BancABC.
In a strongly worded statement on Thursday, PSL CEO Kennedy Ndebele said if the two clubs accepted the incentives, that would breach the PSL’s contract with league sponsors Delta Beverages.
BancABC said it was putting up a US$15,000 winner-takes-all prize for Sunday’s match at Rufaro which could decide the destiny of the 2012 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title.
The bank said it would also pay US$5,000 for the first goal scored in the opening five minutes; US$3,000 will be for every goal scored and $1,500 to the man of the match.
But Ndebele warned of punitive sanctions if the two clubs – which are separated by two points with five matches before the season ends – accepted the offer.
“If the clubs fail to comply with the instruction, the League will have no alternative but to cancel the match,” he warned.
“Further, the League will withhold the full Castle Lager Premier Soccer League prize money of the defaulting Club(s). Such prize money shall be forfeited to the League.”
Here is the full PSL statement:
“While the League recognises the corporate support to all its affiliated Clubs, it is important to consider sponsorship rights of the League Sponsors. The incentives and packages offered to Dynamos FC and Highlanders FC by the Clubs’ Sponsor are not permissible under the current Sponsorship Agreement entered into by and between Delta Beverages and the Premier Soccer League.
In terms of Article 4.1 of the Sponsorship Agreement; Article 4: Official Sponsor 4.1 Delta Beverages shall be the exclusive sponsor of the Competition (“Competition” meaning the Premier Soccer League Championship running over a nine (9) month period from March to November of the same year, and comprising 240 football matches between 16 football teams which shall play 30 matches each for a PRIZE to be SPONSORED by Delta Beverages).
4.2 Premier Soccer League and the respective Clubs may, subject to DELTA APPROVAL of the arrangement and the sub-sponsor, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, negotiate sub-sponsorship arrangements with third parties for the supply of apparel, accommodation, transport and other specific requirements to Premier Soccer League and to the Football Clubs competing in the Competition, provided that the status accorded to such suppliers shall be “official supplier” of [identity item] status and not “official sponsor” status which belongs exclusively to Delta Beverages.
We appreciate that Club Sponsors are the lifeblood of our Clubs. It is important that Sponsorship rights are allocated and shared for the benefits of all Stakeholders. Football Clubs must respect contracts entered into by the League Sponsors.
Our Sponsorship Agreement with Delta Beverages expressly states that Article 11: Competition 11.2 Premier Soccer League shall ensure that the only major league football competition running in Zimbabwe during the football season shall at all times be the Competition and it shall not introduce any competitions or football matches which might reasonably be considered to undermine the status of the Competition without prior written consent of Delta Beverages with the exception of approved knock out tournaments…
11.5 Premier Soccer League shall endeavour to ensure that matches in the Competition: 11.5.2 are recognised as Premier Soccer League matches and shall use its best endeavours to ensure that wherever possible, it does not schedule matches of a knock out or of similar nature at the same time as the Competition matches.
It is important to note that the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Dynamos Football Club and Highlanders Football Club shall proceed under the following conditions:
# The two teams shall play for points – three points for the winners, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.
# The Castle Lager Logo shall appear on all the sleeves of players shirts.
# Club Sponsors’ logo may appear on the players and officials tracksuits, warm-up shirts and bibs.
# No prize money shall be paid to clubs, players and officials, before, during or after the match.
# No club sponsors’ T-shirts, flags, scarves, bibs or other paraphernalia is to be distributed inside and outside the stadium, before, during and after the match.
If the clubs fail to comply with the instruction, the League will have no alternative but to cancel the match. Further, the League will withhold the full Castle Lager Premier Soccer League prize money of the defaulting Club(s). Such prize money shall be forfeited to the League.
The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League would like to advise all its members to ensure that they fully comply with the League’s Sponsorship Agreements, the PSL Constitution, Rules and Regulations and other relevant statutes in order to avoid conflicts.
We trust that the Clubs will guide and advise their commercial partners accordingly. We categorically state that the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League enjoys good and cordial relations with all its stakeholders hence our mission to develop elite football and promote the PSL brand for the benefits of its members and stakeholders through competitions, programmes and activities.”