Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
DELTA Beverages, sponsors of the Premier Soccer League through their Castle Lager brand, will unveil a new sponsorship package during the Soccer Star of the Year banquet in Harare on 13 December, bringing to rest the uncertainty over their relationship with the league.Castle Lager’s three-year sponsorship deal with the league officially ended on Sunday with Harare giants Dynamos claiming their third straight title, pipping Highlanders and Harare City on goal difference.
Speaking during an interview soon after the end of the soccer stars selection process in Harare on Saturday, Castle Lager marketing manager Patricia Murambinda said negotiations on contract renewal had been going on behind the scenes and the finer details would be revealed during the banquet.
“We have been talking and shortly we will come out to the public to announce our package. We are reviewing the whole package because the initial one came after a long time without sponsorship. The new deal must be even better. Our sincere hope is that we announce during the banquet,” said Murambinda.
In the past three years, winners of the league have been getting $70 000, an amount many feel is too little considering what clubs spend throughout the year.
Runners-up get $50 000 with the third best side getting $30 000. The whole package over the three-year period was $3 million.
Controversial Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi ruffled some feathers earlier this year when he said the package was peanuts and needed a review. Delta Beverages were to assure the nation of continued support of soccer months later after the signing of a partnership deal with Barcelona.
The Castle Lager marketing manager said even the selection process for the Soccer Stars of the Year would be reviewed to match international standards.
Sources within football circles said the revised process would see only three footballers being selected from next year instead of 11 as has been the norm since the inception of the process in 1969.
Even the Golden Boot winner will be selected on a technicality, instead of just the player who would have scored more goals. The Goalkeeper of the Year is now determined on statistics.
The winner is the goalkeeper who has the lowest coefficient, worked out to the second decimal place (hundredths). This is calculated by dividing all goals conceded in the league by matches played.
For the Rookie of the Year the selectors risked choosing one match wonders after the organisers of the selection process Multimedia failed to provide the number of games played by the Under-20 players.
Prizes for the league and individual awards
Winners – $70 000, Runners-up – $50 000, Third place – $30 000, Fourth place -$26 000, Fifth place – $24 000, Sixth place – $20 000, Seventh place – $18 000, Eighth place – $15 000, Ninth place – $14 000, 10th place – $12 000, 11th place – $10 000, 12th place – $7 000, 13th place – 16th place $5 000, Individual Awards, Soccer Star of the Year – $5 000, First Runner Up – $3 000, Second Runner Up – $2 000, Soccer Stars of the Year Finalists (8) -$8 000, Golden Boot- $3 000, Goalkeeper of the Year – $2 000, Rookie of the Year – $2 000, Coach of the Year – $2 000, Referee of the Year – $2 000, First Runner-up – $1 500, Second Runner-up – $1 000, Most Disciplined Team – $10 000
Player of the Month (x9) – $4 500, Top Goal Scorer of the Month (x9) – $4 500, Goalkeeper of the Month (x9) – $4 500 Total for awards – $56 500, Total prize money – $373 500 Sponsorship Fee – $226 500
Total Sponsorship package – $600 000