Khoza suggests it would not make sense to open talks with potential sponsors at this stage as the league doesn’t have all the answers due to Covid-19
PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza has revealed the league will only try and find a replacement for Absa once there’s a surety on what’s going to happen to the current season.
As things stand, the season has been suspended for over two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And this was met by Absa’s decision to end their relationship which will come into effect once the 2019/20 campaign is complete.
Absa decided against renewing their contract with the PSL after entering a three-year deal with the league in 2017.
“The contract was for three years. So, it was not pulling out. It was the expiry of the contract which again is a question of deciding whether they continue or not continue,” Khoza told eNCA.
“But the decision to end the relationship was not an acrimonious one; it was a situation that we understand because, with Covid-19, anything is possible.”
Asked if the process to find Absa’s replacement has begun, Khoza made it clear that it’s impossible to begin that process at this stage.
He cited the current situation that sees football suspended in the country as the stumbling block in opening negotiations with any company.
“It’s important that we finish the league first. Finishing the league means you know what you are selling because if you get a sponsor, [they’d ask] ‘when are you starting?’ – you can’t provide an answer,” said Khoza.
A few high-profile companies such as Telkom, Nedbank, Bidvest and Betway have all been reported to be interested in taking over from Absa from next season.
The league together with the South African Football Association (Safa) are working around the clock to ensure the season resumes.
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And there are indications that this could happen soon following Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe’s statement that with teams having already fumigated their training facilities, the process of allowing teams to train may be sped up.
There are eight to six rounds of matches left before the completion of the 2019/20 season – and the football fraternity is eagerly waiting to find out if the government will give the go-ahead to the league to play their remaining matches behind closed doors.