Super League of Malawi (Sulom) says TNM plc has agreed in principle to raise sponsorship for the TNM Super League amid concerns that the current K90 million per season package is insignificant.
Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda, speaking during an annual general meeting in Lilongwe on Saturday, also said they are close to agreeing a new sponsorship deal.
The prevailing three-year contract, which was signed in 2017, is expected to expire in December this year.
In the build-up to discussions for the new deal, clubs have been pushing for increment of the sponsorship, saying in the current deal, they get a raw deal in both prize money and subventions.
Somba-Banda said in principle, TNM has approved nearly all the requests the clubs made.
He said: “Ninety percent of the issues that clubs raised were considered by TNM and they have been agreed upon in principle.
“What remains now is to agree on sponsorship package and how it will be structured. We should be able to do that between now and October.”
The clubs’ calls for sponsorship hike received the backing of Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama who also said the current package was on the lower side.
In the meantime, Somba-Banda has disclosed that, as part of the new deal, they have resolved to allow the clubs secure kit sponsors.
This dismantles the league sponsor’s monopoly through which it owned the right to brand all the teams kits.
“We are now happy to indicate that clubs can now partner with anyone who wants to be a kit sponsor. So, the branding of the kit will now be left to the club,” he said.
Chitipa United vice-general secretary Marshall Mwenechanya was excited with the prospects of a new league sponsorship deal.
He said: “We are very happy that all the issues raised by clubs have been taken into consideration by the league’s sponsor.
“Our expectations are that winners get better prize money than the current K15 million. We also want to see equipment which the teams get—such as kits—are of high quality and reasonable sizes.”
Be Forward Wanderers were among campaigners of sponsorship package.
In an interview yesterday, the Nomads general secretary Victor Maunde said they are pleased that TNM has taken note of their plea.
He, however, urged TNM to consider partnering with co-sponsors if it feels that raising the sponsorship significantly would hurt their economic standing.
“Obviously that [approving clubs proposals] paints a positive picture. As clubs, we will be happy if they can allow other companies to partner them,” he said.
On his part, TNM brand and communication manager Limbani Nsapato yesterday said: “TNM shall be in a position to comment only after the discussions are concluded.”