Super League of Malawi (Sulom) is at liberty to engage co-sponsors of the Super League as long as the sponsorship is not in breach of the current contract with TNM, Nation on Sunday has learnt.
According to the contract between the two parties, the mobile service provider does not stop Sulom from getting another sponsor, but rather entrusts Sulom with the responsibility of refraining from entering into other agreements which would restrict or prevent them from providing the rights granted to TNM.
The contract, which gives TNM naming, promotion and advertising rights, rather restricts Sulom from getting sponsorship, promotional, advertising or similar rights to other persons, firm, company, corporation or other body involved or concerned in the products and services related or similar to TNM products.
Silver Strikers general secretary Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda said Sulom has for 10 years failed clubs by being content with a single league sponsor when other leagues have multiple benefactors.
He said: “There should be co-sponsorship as it happens in other leagues. It is the duty of Sulom and not clubs to find co-sponsors. The prize money and the subvention clubs get is peanuts compared to what they spend. If Sulom fails to get a co-sponsor, then forget about commercialisation of the league and clubs. Both the league and clubs will continue running as charitable trusts. Clubs of course should also not rely on one sponsor.”
South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) have Absa, Nedbank, Telkom, MTN and Super Sport while Mozambique national league, Mocambola, has Mcel and Standard Bank.
A TNM senior manager said the mobile service providers have always been flexible and welcomed others to join in developing football in the country.
He said: “In fact it’s not even up to us to decide on the issue of co-sponsors. We don’t manage the league. It is Sulom who are responsible for the management of the league. We have always been flexible. That’s why we always invite others to join us in the development of football in the country. But it’s up to Sulom to engage such co-sponsors.”
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said while the contract does not stop co-sponsorship per se, they still need to renegotiate with TNM.
“It’s something that needs time. Slowly we are engaging them since its a give and take situation. That is why they have allowed clubs such as Azam Tigers, Nyasa Big Bullets and recently Be Forward Wanderers to have shirts sponsors,” he said.
TNM started sponsoring the league in 2006. The mobile service providers have pledged another 10 years. n