PSL in sponsorship deal talks — Twine Phiri

THE unbranded Premier Soccer League (PSL) has opened sponsorship negotiations with a local company, league chairperson Twine Phiri claimed yesterday.
This season, the PSL failed to secure sponsorship.

In an interview with IndependentSport, Phiri said the talks were nearing completion and was upbeat that the PSL would clinch a lucrative deal for next season. However, he declined to make public the company to bankroll the PSL.
Phiri, the Caps United president, said: “There is a company that we are talking to. They have shown keen interest in financing the league next season.
“The talks we have had with them so far have been fruitful and we are hopeful that by the end of the year we will be in a position to announce our programme for next year.”
He said the company was impressed with the way the local brand of soccer was attracting huge fans.
The local league, despite being shunned by the corporate world, has continued to attract more interest than any other sporting discipline in the country.
Last week’s Harare derby pitting Dynamos and Caps United almost attracted a full-house at Rufaro Stadium. The match ended goalless.
The traditional giants, who also include Highlanders, have continued to attract huge supporters at their matches, while smaller clubs benefited each time they face the crowd pullers.
Most small clubs were reportedly lining up to sell their franchise at the end of this season as it had increasingly become costly to run the clubs in an unsponsored league.
Phiri said once the PSL secured the sponsorship, it would come up with a rescue package for the financially beleaguered teams.
“We have had our problems this season and we think we have learnt a lot. It has been a tough year for us and we acknowledge that companies are still trying to get back to their feet after some years of difficulty,” Phiri said. We want to ensure that we continue to attract fans and that we form a good relationship with the corporate world. Our league offers the best entertainment locally and we want our players to benefit from their fame.”
Among those clubs that have been struggling are Kiglon, Lengthens and Shooting Stars who, among other things, battled to pay players’ salaries and allowances.

Kevin Mapasure

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