Premier League secretary, Setete Puthego, has down played allegations that the Premier league committee had given Munhumutapa African Broadcasting Corporation (MABC) TV an ultimatum until Friday to deposit the money into their account. Phutego said that currently they are enjoying a cordial relationship with MABC and that it ├¡s virtually impossible that in such atmosphere one partner could think of giving the other an ultimatum.
On whether they have contingency plans if the Munhumutapa deal does not materialise, Phuthego said there is no need as they have confidence in their current partner.
“There is no way we could have a by-stander sponsor. We are under contractual obligations and there is no need to terminate the contract because we have a mutual understanding with our current sponsors,” he said.
He urged Batswana to be more patient stating that the waiting will be worthwhile in the end and promised new developments next week. He would, however, not give more details.
Phuthego could also neither confirm nor deny allegations that Pula Sports Marketing, who negotiated the deal on their behalf, have a 30 percent stake in the P65 million. Phutego revealed that they have consulted with clubs through their chairmen and were given a go ahead not to hasten MABC TV sponsorship. He added that the Premier League is run by club chairmen and, as such, they make decisions in the best interests of football.
Phutego allayed fears that the ongoing league games maybe mere friendlies, arguing that sponsorship and the running of the league are not tied. He said that the reason for a lot of derbies in the opening stages of the league is prompted by the anticipated lack of stadia across the country. As a result Gaborone United, Rollers and Chiefs games were intended to utilise the then available National Stadium, which has since been closed for refurbishment.
Attempts by premier league to court the government into delaying the closure of the stadiums did not bear fruit. It was expected that Galaxy Stadium, the National Stadium and the UB Stadium will be closed for renovation.
Puthego was, however, hopeful that they would eventually come to an agreement with the government.
Meanwhile the Premier League has a brand.
The brand, which is yet to be launched, has been in operation for two years now but it is relatively unknown. Phutego would not rule out the possibility of future modifications but said they are still undecided as to when they will make it public.