Botswana Premier League (BPL) office has vowed to bring an exciting incident-free 2017/18 BTC Premiership season. BPL acting CEO Thabo Ntshinogang said they are ready to resume where they ended in the previous season. For the past two or so seasons, the league was besieged by a number of court cases that disrupted the flow of the beautiful game. Ntshinogang has promised that this season they will work hard to avoid any such reoccurrence. However, to attain this Ntshinogang therefore called on the BTC Premiership clubs to always abide with the set Play Rules and Regulations at all times. He urged the teams to attract more spectators to the games for a more euphoric experience at the games. “We are ready to bring an exciting season of football where there are no unwanted incidents. But for us to do this teams also should be part of this and follow the set laws of the game,” said Ntshinogang. The recently unveiled improved sponsorship BTC deal will be motivational enough for the teams to do well and display competitive football to attract more spectators and sponsors. BTC and BPL have announced a P39 Million sponsorship for the coming three years, with increased price money and grants. Over the weekend the two parties also announced that the total price money for teams will be increased to P4.6 million.
This development will also see first price money being increased from the previous P1 million to P1.3 million for the champions. All the positions will also see an increment with position two, three and four getting P700 000, P400 000 and P300, 000 respectively. To added to this Ntshinogang said the teams will also get a P35 000 monthly grant over the period of eight months. The clubs have always felt the monthly grants were too little for running the teams. In some instances, some clubs especially those without sponsorships complained that the money was availed to them very late. However, the recent increase of grants money has been hailed as a welcome development by clubs. Tafic Sporting Club chairman Thomas Maika welcomed the increase, saying it will go a long way in helping them meet their day-to-day running of the club. Maika said even though P35 000 is not enough it will help them significantly. He explained that clubs’ budgets are very high and the P35 000 is not enough. “For instance our monthly budget is around P120 000 to cover salaries and accommodation only. This is difficult for us especially that we do not have any sponsor but we are grateful of the grant,” he said.
Clubs’ concerns, however, might be eased further as is reported that their monthly grants might see another increase anytime soon with funds for the broadcasting rights. Ntshinogang said that they might top up the P35 000. “We might top up and to the current grants but we are yet to meet and discuss the matter further,” said Ntshinogang. The BPL CEO said all is in place for the league to run smoothly. He believes that this season the league will be an interesting one if all stakeholders come to the party and play their part. The BPL office confirmed that before the start of the season that even the referees have been paid so that they can do their work diligently.