Super League of Malawi (Sulom) says it is casting its net wider and ready to talk to other potential sponsors of the Super League as TNM Plc contract expires this season.
But in an interview yesterday, Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda said such prospective financiers of the league will be considered if they will not be satisfied with the offer of the integrated mobile network and ICT service provider.
He said the needs of Super League clubs will be prioritised during sponsorship negotiations with TNM and if that will not be met, they will engage other prospective financiers.
“TNM will be the first refuser as per the law; we will listen to their offer first before we can consider other corporate partners. But before such negotiations, the interests of the clubs will be prioritised as they are the reason the league exists,” Somba Banda said.
“Therefore, if our negotiations with TNM fail to satisfy the clubs’ interests, we will consider other prospective sponsors.”
TNM signed a three-year Super League sponsorship deal with Sulom at K90 million per season in 2017.
But some top-flight league clubs have been crying for sponsorship increase, especially on prizes and starter-packs.
Currently, league champions take home K15 million.
The 2020 season is yet to start as sporting activities are suspended globally as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has registered 2.9 million cases and 203 413 deaths worldwide.
Yesterday, some clubs welcomed Sulom’s decision to put the outfits’ interest above anything else.
“If the prize money and the sum given to clubs as participation package are increased considerably, we will be happy,” said Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga, whose team retained the title last season.
“We understand that it is not easy for the sponsors, but the K15 million we get as champions is not enough. It would also be a great deal if the starter-pack is enhanced to at least K2.5 million.”
Be Forward Wanderers general secretary Victor Maunde said it is good that Sulom thinking of partnering with a corporate partner who will be able to put a satisfactory package on the table.
He said: “As clubs, we spend a lot to honour their home and away fixtures yet the prize money for the champion is not even enough for our one month wage-bill. We will be happy if TNM or any other prospective sponsor comes in with a realistic and competitive package to at least match the current economic rate.”
Civo United general secretary Ronald Chiwaula and his Kamuzu Barracks counterpart Prince Majiga said there is room for improvement on the sponsorship package and they hope the 2021 deal will serve the clubs well.
TNM brand and communication manager Limbani Nsapato yesterday said negotiations with Sulom are not yet done.