WINDHOEK – Launching the 2018/19 football season yesterday in the capital, the leadership of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) announced that monthly grants for the new season have been increased from N$65 000 to a handsome N$114 280 per month per club.
League proceedings for the new season kick off this weekend and run until end of May next year. Officiating at the launch yesterday, NPL vice-chairperson Bonni Paulino said the league was initially scheduled to start in September but had to be postponed due to the late conclusion of the first divisions.
“We wanted to start in September but as you all know the first divisions finished late and we had to wait for the names and identities of promoted clubs from our mother body NFA. That is also when we schedule our annual general meeting and prepare the fixtures list,” said Paulino.
He also announced that the league resolved to do away with double-header matches as was the case last season and teams will now strictly play single-header games this coming season. He further announced that clubs have been given the freedom to choose where they want to play their home matches, in an effort to take the games to all parts of the country while also giving sponsors much-needed mileage and coverage.
Welcoming the increased monthly grants to the clubs, the chief executive officer of Orlando Pirates, Nicklaas Kisilipile, said this is a welcome development. “All the clubs will benefit from this increase as it will relieve the pressure when it comes to operational expenses like travelling and salaries,” he said.
He said the grants would be paid on a monthly basis, as opposed to quarterly payments in the previous seasons. “Paying them monthly will guarantee that operational expenses like salaries, accommodation and transport are taken care of as they arise. Everyone can now have a good night’s sleep because of this,” Kisilipile said.
Tura Magic chairperson Peter Nakurua shared the same sentiments, saying it is now up to the clubs to look for more sponsorships to supplement the grants. “Depending on the grant alone will not be conducive for the clubs as they may find themselves in debt,” he said.
NPL and African Stars chairperson, Patrick Kauta, said they are thankful to the sponsors who are the ones who make it possible for the clubs to make sure that 480 youths are gainfully employed annually. –Additional info Nampa