Mamelodi Sundowns’ Hlompho Kekana receives the Premiership trophy from David Wingfields, ABSA Head of Marketing earlier this month. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Mamelodi Sundowns’ Hlompho Kekana receives the Premiership trophy from David Wingfields, ABSA Head of Marketing earlier this month. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Jose Ferreira doesn’t expect Bidvest to take over as the PSL’s main sponsor

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Sep 14, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The 17-year relationship between the PSL and banking giant Absa may have abruptly came to an end on the final day of the Premiership season, but do not bank on the Bidvest Group to take over.

Absa ventured into football in 2003 with the Absa Cup, which lasted until 2007. But from then on they became the chief sponsors of the PSL, replacing South African Breweries (SAB) flagship brand Castle to form the Absa Premiership.

But during the lockdown Absa pulled the plug on their relationship with football, although not because of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the economy, as they wanted to venture into other sectors.

The decision not to renew their sponsorship with the PSL came as a shock to the football fraternity, considering that they had recently increased the seasonal winnings by a whopping 50%.

As the Premiership season came to an end on September 5, champions Mamelodi Sundowns walked away with a cool R15 million, while Kaizer Chiefs, who were runners-up, were rewarded with R7.5m.

However, as the league goes in search of a new sponsor ahead of the new season that is expected to commence in the second or third week of October, the chances that Absa will be replaced by Bidvest are impossible.

Jose Ferreira, a member of the PSL executive committee and former chief executive of the recently-sold Bidvest Wits, told the members of the South African Football Journalists’ Association (Safja) that there are currently no talks of Bidvest taking over as title sponsors of the league.

“I have no knowledge of the news that Bidvest are earmarked to take over as the new sponsors, neither from the PSL nor the Bidvest side,” said Ferreira.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t expect that to happen either.

“But as you know, things can change at any minute.”

The domestic season restarted early last month in a ‘bio-bubble’ as they observed Covid-19 protocols, but for most teams, the process was quite expensive.

However, as the curtain fell on the 2019-20 domestic season yesterday, a lot of uncertainty surrounds the commencement of the new term, many asking whether the same strict measures, which included playing behind closed doors, will be maintained going forward.

“I have no doubt that clubs will survive going forward. There are new challenges ahead of us going into the new season. But we are already working on what will happen next season, although I don’t want to divulge more on that because it’s not my job to,” Ferreira said.

“But I can tell you categorically that there are plans afoot already. We’ve been working hard to plan for next season, and I think that clubs shouldn’t have difficulties in following through with what is expected of them.”

Ferreira continued: “I think the bubble demonstrated that we are one of the most successful leagues that resumed (under the new normal) around the world.

“When you look at the types of reports that are coming from around the world, we’ve been successful. Credit must go to the league and clubs.”

@Mihlalibaleka

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