CENTRAL Region boss Felton Kamambo has hinted that the league will soon introduce sponsorship packages in a move aimed at lessening the burden on clubs that are facing financial problems in running their day-to-day businesses.
By Our Staff
Kamambo took over the reins as chairman in the fourth Division One league which came into existence in 2010, early this year when he won the post uncontested.
But for any chairman of a competitive league, leading an unbranded league is not an easy task.
Since the inception of the league, it has never attracted sponsorship, which the soft-spoken football administrator said they were working flat out to address.
Kamambo told Standardsport that their league started late this year because they were still trying to finalise a sponsorship deal with an international investor who kept them waiting.
“Hope is not lost. Anytime from now we will announce our league sponsor. As a committee, we have discovered that if we wait for a sponsorship package that will brand the league only, we will not have done any good to ourselves and the clubs. We have therefore decided to introduce the sponsorships in packages,” Kamambo said.
He added; “As we wait for our potential league sponsor, we went on to lure a few other investors to assist with sponsorship packages that include referees, security, awards, administration as well as the league’s knockout tournament. Everything is almost done, what is left is for us to make the announcements of sponsors of particular sponsorship packages.”
Kamambo said as the board, they had seen it prudent to breakdown the sponsorship needs into packages so as to attract a number of investors.
“The referees’ package will mean that clubs will no longer pay referees. Referees will now be paid by the office. This also helps in transparency, taking away issues to do with “referee buying” as clubs will not have a chance to talk to referees over any payment. The same applies to police and other security measures needed at match venues.
“We have not been sitting on our laurels, we have been running around to make sure that as a region we have our own knockout tournament which we will announce soon. At the end of the season, we also want to reward our outstanding players, so we have introduced the awards sponsorship package which we hope will come as a refreshing development to clubs and players.”
A member of the previous board in the region, Kamambo, who was fixtures secretary, admitted that they had failed in their maiden year but added there was still an opportunity to improve.
“I think I used my time in the previous board as a learning curve. We need to meet certain requirements, including having our books audited which we failed to do in the previous years. We are going to have a stakeholders’ meeting with all our stakeholders where we are going to discuss some of these things which will help us move forward as a region.”
Kamambo bemoaned the way Zimbabwe has been booted out of the 2015 Afcon qualifiers.
“I think this is a wake-up call to us as a region. Next season, we will also pluck a leaf from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and introduce quota system to cater for junior players as a way of promoting development.”
“But I think this was a blessing in disguise; we have to go back to the drawing board and start rebuilding for the future. Who knows, maybe come 2017, we will be a force to reckon with in Africa.”