Barclays: Next Premier League sponsor?
Barclays Botswana could be the next sponsors of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) if recent reports are anything to go by. The league’s six year association with communication giants beMobile is due to end in May next year and Barclays is rumoured to be one of the options in waiting in case beMobile and the BPL do not extend their contract.
This publication has established that the BPL approached beMobile with the view of extending their soon to be expired deal. Gazette Sport understands that beMobile’s contract has a clause that favours them ahead of other prospective candidates.
They have the first right of refusal which means that they will be first in line when it comes to negotiating a deal with the local league. Insiders have revealed that the BPL is keen to extend their partnership with BPL but they could explore other options if they fail to reach a consensus with the mobile network provider. Preliminary talks are expected to take place in the near future.
When reached for comment, a BPL representative said, “It is premature to discuss this matter. beMobile is the only option we have and we would like to sit down and kick-start talks of prolonging our current agreement. They have the first right of refusal so they are in a perfect position should they express an interest to negotiate a new deal.”
beMobile’s partnership with the BPL began in the 2008/2009 season when they made a groundbreaking deal that included a P1 million prize for the league winners; the first of its kind in the country.
Despite the BPL’s refusal to acknowledge Barclays as a potential option sources have informed this reporter that they are among a concealed list of options who could become the next sponsor of the local league.
The company made a significant contribution to local football this year by reigniting the Kabelano Charity Cup. Their P1 million sponsorship of the tournament garnered praise from the football fraternity; they also have the financial backing of Barclays PLC based in London. The England based bank is the sponsor of the Barclays Premier League, popularly known as the English Premier League (EPL).