The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Phiri Challenges Psl Newcomers

PREMIERSHIP boss Twine Phiri has challenged the newly promoted teams to the Castle Lager League to jealously safeguard the brand. Phiri, who is also the CAPS United director, made the remarks at a two day induction workshop for the newcomers at a city hotel yesterday.

Army side Black Rhinos, Triple B, Triangle and How Mine will be playing in the elite league next season after winning their various Division One championships this year.

As is the norm over the years, the PSL invited the teams' secretary-generals, treasurers, chairpersons and vice-chairpersons for the induction ahead of the new season next year.

"Now that you have joined us and remember that it's the top league. It's the cream league for the top teams.

"We want you guys to be there in the top league forever. Stay in the top league like Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United who have been there.

"I know that Black Rhinos have been here before. They have been in the league since the days we started the Premiership in 1992.

"One thing that I want to point out is that if teams have issues, they have to address them through the right channels.

"We have a secretariat that handles the communication and they will teach you more about protecting our brand.

"Let's try to guard our sponsorship. I know that football is dynamic and is changing everytime and clubs need to talk through the chief executive officer if they have issues," said Phiri.

Phiri pointed out how the PSL lost sponsorship when Econet pulled out from a mega sponsorship that could have transformed the face of the domestic game.

"I know what it means to protect our sponsors.

"There is a lot of politics in our game but we certainly do not need politicians in football.

"We come from different backgrounds and all we want is to enjoy the beautiful game.

"It's very easy for sponsors to get a name and its also easy for them to leave. Ask anyone about Econet and they will tell you my name that I drove them out of football," said Phiri.

The PSL clubs will meet next week, where they will carry a review of the just ended season as well as planning for next year.

It is at this meeting that, Phiri said, they would discuss the fate of Kenny Ndebele whose contract is ending on December 31.

Ndebele, who is credited for doing a credible job this season, is also inducting the new teams and said the league will soon be inspecting facilities at How Mine, Dulibadzimu, and Gibo to see if they meet the PSL requirements.

Also at the meeting next week, the club's board of governors will also discuss the issue of the vacant post left by Cuthbert Chitima's whose Gunners have been relegated.

Chitima was the board member responsible for development.

After the first day of the workshop, all the newcomers expressed hope that they will survive relegation at the end of season next year.

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