Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and sponsors TNM pcl have set June as the deadline for concluding negotiations on the sponsorship contract renewal.
This follows a virtual meeting the two parties held on Tuesday, according to Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda.
“We had a virtual meeting with TNM on Tuesday to appraise each other on the current situation. We have given each other timelines on the contract negotiations for the 2021 season going forward.
“In the meantime we have gone back to the clubs to get their input on the contract framework and we expect to get their feedback before the end of May for our consolidation and action.
“We will have a follow up meeting in the first week of June to firm up the dates after getting input from the teams,” he said.
Apart from the sponsorship issue, Sulom and TNM also discussed the current novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on its effect on the football calendar.
FAM announced that the season will only go ahead with some adjustments to the fixtures and allow the season to spill over to next year if the delay is within six months—April to September 2020.
If the delay is of more than six months—October and beyond—the season will be considered to have been lost and FAM will start planning for another season which would start January 2021.
Somba-Banda said they explained the two possible outcomes to the sponsors.
“The sponsor is in agreement with the two scenarios on the football calendar proposed by the Covid-19 Task Force,” he said.
The meeting between the two sides comes a week after Sulom said it was ready to talk to other sponsors if they will not be satisfied with the offer of the integrated mobile network and ICT service provider, which has shown interest to extend the contract beyond 2020.
Sulom has also insisted that Super League clubs will be prioritised during sponsorship negotiations with TNM.
TNM signed a three-year Super League sponsorship deal with Sulom worth K90 million per season in 2017.
But some top-flight league clubs have been crying for sponsorship increase, especially on prizes and starter-packs.
“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 league 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 thinks of partnering a fellow corporate that will be able to put a satisfactory package on the table.
“As clubs, we spend a lot to honour 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,” he said.
Currently, league champions receive K15 million after playing 30 matches and each of the league’s 16 teams gets K1 million starter-pack.
Winners of Airtel Top 8 Tournament also cart home K15 million, but after playing four games. Fisd Challenge Cup champions get K20 million from six or seven matches whereas winners of the imminent FDH Cup will get K25 million from about 10 games.
TNM brand and communication manager Limbani Nsapato said it would be premature to divulge anything about the league’s sponsorship because contract negotiations with Sulom are yet to conclude.