PSL set to score new headline sponsor soon, says Irvin Khoza
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DURBAN - The Premier Soccer League (PSL) head honcho, Irvin Khoza, has moved to allay fears about the future of the league sponsorship following Absa Bank's decision not to renew its contract.
The marriage between the PSL and Absa will end this month. When the news broke a few weeks ago there were fears that the PSL had been left in the lurch after the unexpected announcement. But PSL chairman Khoza told IOL Sport that they are already in negotiations with potential sponsors.
“We’ve got four companies at the moment (who want to sponsor the league),” Khoza confidently stated, without revealing the identity of the corporates.
“The economy is not in a healthy state, but we are trying to find the best ways to position our proposals. It is a very difficult one. Having said that, we are working very hard (towards finalising a deal).
"At the moment though our main focus is how to restart the season. Remember, we still have to finish the old season before we can say too much about the new season. Right now, we are waiting for the government to give us the go-ahead,” Khoza elaborated.
Bidvest and MultiChoice are reported to be front-runners to take over from Absa, who have been the main sponsor of the league for 16 years. The bank’s latest cash injection was R140 million per season.
Khoza highlighted some of the challenges the league has encountered following the abrupt stoppage of the league due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said in terms of the agreement between the PSL and Absa the contract comes to an end on June 30 but the action on the field has not been concluded.
Khoza and South African Football Association (Safa) president, Danny Jordaan, met Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa last week to map the way forward on rebooting the South African league.
There has been no football action since mid-March and the season is unlikely to resume this month as the country remains on level 3 of the lockdown. Khoza said there might not be a monthly grant for clubs after June 30, which will present a different challenge.
“It is a big, big problem for the clubs. With the sponsorship ending in June, we might finish (the league) without any sponsor,” Khoza explained.
One proposal is that the league could be concluded with a national camp where all 32 teams train and play in a bio-bubble designed to host the action.