Sunday, May 9, 2021

Botswana Premier League office briefs media

Mamelodi offered an improved contract

BPL chairman Walter Kgabung confirmed that chief executive officer Bennett Mamelodi has been offered a new two year contract. Though he did not want to go into the details of the contract, Kgabung could only confirm that the contract is performance based. For his part, Mamelodi said, “I only received the contract this morning (Thursday). I’ll pray over it.”  Sources indicate that Mamelodi has already agreed to the new offer and he was just being diplomatic at the briefing. Mamelodi shocked the football fraternity when he resigned on June 1 citing that he is not getting enough support from his bosses. It took the intervention of a number of bigwigs including BFA president Tebogo Sebego for the CEO to remain in charge. 

BPL wants autonomy

Just like most Leagues around the world, BPL has disclosed that they want to be autonomous in order to take their League to another level. Mamelodi disclosed that talks are at an advanced stage. “The League has to convince the NEC on our readiness and model amongst other things. We’ll be forming the national league which incorporates First Division as required by the constitution. You may be aware that already we’re sharing the facilities. The Debswana sponsorship (for First Division) is coming to an end and we hope to be part of the negotiations (as BPL),” said Mamelodi. He pointed out that in the near future, they would like to see First Division games broadcasted on both the national television and radio.

According to Kgabung, it is important that they get the powers from Botswana Football Association in order to run things their own way. The League boss added that their intention is to professionalise the League and bring more money into the game.

Broadcasting of matches

Following complaints from football lovers that the national broadcaster is letting them down, Mamelodi said they will continue to engage Botswana Television to ensure that they broadcast the promised number of games to the audience. “There are difficulties we’re going to encounter, but we’ll ensure that the situation is normalised. The plan is to give Batswana quality product,” Mamelodi told the gathering. According to BPL, the national broadcaster is expected to beam 60 beMobile Premiership matches and 13 Mascom Top 8 matches live. There is an unlimited number of delayed/recorded matches.

Branding

BPL has admitted that they have encountered challenges when it comes to branding at some League matches. Mamelodi was quick to point out that plans are underway to rectify the situation. He said they are in talks with Botswana Couriers to transport their branding materials to match venues during the weekends.

Supporters

BPL chairman Kgabung said that supporters are major stakeholders and they will continue to value them. He said plans are underway to see how they can improve the safety of fans at match venues. Another issue that was raised was that of ticketing. BPL said that their intention is to improve on how they sell match day tickets and seasonal tickets are another option going into the future.

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