MTC dumps NPL over budget shortcomings

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Mobile Telecommunications Corporation (MTC) on Monday morning announcement that they have partied ways with the Namibia Premier league (NPL) after the latter failed to guarantee N$ 9 Million a season for the next year years in which MTC was to commit N$ 15 million.

MTC’s Tim Ekandjo told a packed conference hall at Football House that they had to end the 14 years old relationship : “ We can now confirm that the NPL, despite its efforts, have not been able to secure an additional sponsor(s) or rather the N$9 million, and therefore MTC has now officially withdrawn its conditional commitment of N$ 15 million per annum and N$45 million over three years. This move now formally means that MTC will officially not renew its partnership with the NPL. We wish to assure the public that MTC will remain a credible and enthusiastic partner not just of football but sports in Namibia. Our intention is to reinvest all funds meant for the NPL in other sports codes, we are however not going to share any details on that now”, Ekandjo said.

MTC’s three year agreement with the NPL naturally came to an end at the end of the 2015/2016 season, and that there was effectively no agreement between the parties at that point and rightfully so at this point. MTC was however agreed to renewing its relationship with the NPL with an amount of N$15 million per annum and N$45 million over 3 years on condition that;

(1) The NPL secures an additional sponsor(s) to make up for the N$9 million per annum (N$27 million) over 3 years; (2) That such a sponsor not be in direct competition with MTC; (3) That the MTC logo take centre stage on all 16 Premier League clubs on the chest, but that MTC is fully in support of co-branding with corporates that make a serious contribution to individual clubs through sponsorship; (4) That the NPL gives MTC written proof that such a sponsor has been secured for the 3- year period (5) That NPL secures such a sponsor(s) on or before the 31st July 2016, a deadline which was subsequently changed to the 22nd August 2016 at the request of the NPL to which MTC agreed, which is a clear indication that MTC wanted to make this partnership work, and give it every available opportunity.

NPL Chairman Johnny Doeseb confirmed the league’s inability to guarantee MTC that source for the additional funds and remained hopeful of the league starting in September.

“We are still looking for funds and we spoke to the Ministry of Sport Youth and National Service to assist with sponsorship and they said our request was not budgeted for, as they don’t have reserves but they will make a provision with the Ministry of Finance. We cannot start the league without the N$ 24 Million budget and that is the situation right now,” said Doeseb.

Ekandjo wished the NPL well: “We genuinely believe that the NPL brand has the potential, if correctly funded and managed, and that is why we stood by the brand for the past 14 years. No relationship will prosper by itself if you don’t make an effort and that is one important lesson that our leaders in football must begin to master. The inability of the NPL to secure N$9 million should in my view be no reflection on the Chairman of the League; it is a much bigger problem that speaks to funding of sports in the country. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and this does not mean that we have permanently closed the door on sponsoring soccer in the future”.