19 March 2012

Zimbabwe: Netone, Bancabc Clash Over Playing Kit Logos

THE NetOne Charity Shield match between Dynamos and Motor Action nearly failed to take place yesterday following a clash over playing kit logos between the tournament sponsors and BanABC.

There were reports last night that NetOne would withhold the prize money that Dynamos won, because they violated the tournament's rules, but the Glamour Boys' officials said they had not been officially advised of that position.

DeMbare received a dummy cheque, confirming the prize money they will get for winning the trophy, but Harare's rumour mill was buzzing that the actual funds will not be transferred. There were reports, too, that BancABC will now foot that bill in the event of NetOne withholding their purse.

Dynamos had threatened to withdraw from the season-opening competition after their principal sponsors demanded that they be given the front space on the club's jerseys to display their logo.

The jerseys, which were presented at the tournament launch ceremony last week, bore the NetOne logo. But Dynamos, who went on to win the title for the second year running, on Saturday objected to wearing jerseys carrying the NetOne logo since it had serious implications on their relationship with BancABC.

In fact BancABC, who entered into an agreement to take care of the Glamour Boys' financial needs in the Champions League and also foot their players' salary bill, had threatened to withdraw their backing if Dynamos featured in the game with the kits presented by NetOne.

According to the contracted entered into between DeMbare and their partners, BancABC as the club's major sponsor, hold exclusive rights over the playing kits to be used by the team in all their matches.

BancABC executive, Desmund Ali, said the company objected to the playing kits since they have a lucrative contract with Dynamos running into hundreds of thousands dollars.

"We are the sponsors of Dynamos. We pay the salaries for the players every month and as per our agreement with the club the front space advertising is reserved for BancABC.

"That's the norm everywhere.

"Even if you look at Manchester United if they are playing in the Champions League they don't have Heineken logo at the front of their jerseys, but they carry that of the team sponsor.

"Why should we be relegated from our space for a tournament that comes once off when we sponsor the club the whole year?

"Even in the BancABC Sup8r Cup that we sponsor which involves many PSL clubs, if another team comes along and say they want the front space advertising reserved for their sponsors we give them," said Ali.

The kits in question were presented to the club last week and after consulting with their sponsor Dynamos secretary general Raymond Kazembe said the club immediately raised the issue with PSL and have been communicating since.

Following days of negotiations involving all the parties, with several suggestions including putting the BancABC logo on the sleeve or at the bottom of the tournament sponsors they had to settle for a compromise and let Dynamos use their own kit.

"We have a contract with BancABC which is very clear that in every game that we play our jerseys should display their logo at the front.

"But in this case NetOne had already made the jerseys for the competition with their logo at the front.

"We communicated this to the Premier Soccer League last week and notified them that we have an obligation to put our sponsors' logo at the front," said Kazembe.

The Dynamos secretary said while he had also heard reports of the sponsors withholding the prize money, nothing had officially been communicated to them.

Takesure Chinyama, voted man-of-the-match, was ordered to wear a NetOne branded T-shirt before he could be given his financial reward of US$500 yesterday.

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