BPL NEGOTIATING WITH BTC FOR BETTER DEAL
It appears the delayed start to this season’s Botswana Premier League (BPL) is due to management’s on-going attempts to secure a better deal with league sponsors BTC.
The league was originally scheduled to kick-off last weekend but has been postponed indefinitely, although sources suggest it will begin on the 15th of September.
Publically, the BPL blamed the aborted start on ‘behind the scenes’ preparations to make the league more exciting.
However, according to insiders, the BPL have submitted a new proposal to BTC requesting an increase in teams’ grants.
Previously, top flight teams received a monthly P40, 000 grant – an amount that they have long complained is not enough.
Talking exclusively to Voice Sport, the loose-lipped source, who regularly present at board meetings, claimed the sponsorship deal is likely to increase from P10 million per season to P13 million.
He explained the funds would cover the grants and the Charity Cup that the BPL intend to introduce this season.
“We have agreed that more money go into grants than increasing prize money so that all teams benefit. The charity cup tournament is a separate agreement that we are still working on. We still have to see which teams can take part and all the proceeds are channelled into football development structures,” he revealed, requesting anonymity as the information was not meant to be public yet.
Despite the improved deal, the BPL insider added that the increase would still not be enough to cover teams’ travel, salary and accommodation costs.
Because of this, he claimed the BPL were looking for additional partners to come on board, with First National Bank Botswana, BancABC and Barclays all allegedly expressing interest.
He insisted the BPL are currently weighing up the offers and will pick the best one ‘soon’.
When contacted for a comment BPL Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Styles Ntshinogang said negotiations with BTC were almost complete, with ‘a few loose ends left to tie up’.
The acting CEO would not be drawn into discussing proceedings in any great detail, saying only that the information would be shared soon.
When asked about the alleged new partners, Ntshinogang claimed he was not aware of such developments.
Meanwhile, nine premier league clubs were given a final warning to fill the identified gaps in their submissions for licensing.
Club Licencing Chairman Mfolwe Mfolwe announced on Wednesday that so far only five teams – Township Rollers, Security Systems, Orapa United, Jwaneng Galaxy and Police XI – had earned full licences.
The remaining 11 teams were given until the 31st of October to meet all the requirements or face having their licences revoked, which would lead to their immediate disqualification from the league.