As the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) concludes the Premier Division League’s first-round this week, it is still unclear if prospective sponsors Nsejjere Sports and Casual Wear will put pen to paper on their commitment.
This comes after the league kicked off four months ago with the hope that Nsejjere will extend sponsorship to the current season after the expiry of last season’s K10 million financial backing in March.
Nsejjere’s country representative Peter Mgangira told Nation on Sunday on Wednesday that while they might extend the sponsorship deal, they feel it was wrong for the league to kick off in the absence of a written sponsorship contract.
He said the development creates conflicts and misunderstandings if the deal fails to materialise or the prospective sponsors want a different set up of the competition for promotional purposes.
“I would not confidently say we are coming back or not. But we feel in the absence of a written contract, the league was not supposed to roll into action as a Nsejjere-sponsored event. However, we have referred the matter to our lawyers to map the way forward,” Mgangira said.
“Whatever comes out of that, I will come back to you and say what has transpired. But to be honest, issues to do with sponsorship contracts take time to be acknowledged.”
If sponsorship does not come in, the only prize for the winning team will be promotion into the TNM Super League as teams get nothing after games since such matches are for free.
Teams paid K75 000 registration fee each at the start of the season and continue to spend for expenses such as transportation to and from match venues.
Moreover, since the competition has been branded Nsejjere-sponsored event, the league might not attract support from other prospective sponsors.
However, SRFA chairperson Raphael Humba remained upbeat on securing the contract before the start of the league’s second-round.
“Nsejjere have identified a lawyer who is drafting the contract, which will probably have a three-year span. We hope that before the start of the second-round, we will have our input and everything finalised,” said Humba.
He added that they had to start the contest without a signed contract to be in line with the harmonised 2015 football calendar.
But Max Kapanda, owner of SRFL Premier League outfit Max Bullets, said the prospective sponsors and the SRFA should finalise the sponsorship deal at least before the start of the second-round as it will be discouraging if the fixtures wind up without a financial backing.
“Of course, our focus is on promotion into the Super League, but prizes are important too as they motivate the players, the technical panel and everybody. It will be very disappointing if the competition ends without sponsorship,” Kapanda said.
In 2012, champions of the K12 million Fellowship Association of Malawi (Fama) Cup Blue Eagles and runners-up Big Bullets failed to acquire their respective K3 million and K2 million prizes due to the absence of a written contract at the beginning of the competition.