If the leadership of the suspended Namibia Premier League (NPL) fail to approach First National Bank (FNB) Namibia and quickly pitch a new sponsorship proposal before the end of this month, the bank will be forced to withdraw its N$5 million sponsorship of the NPL and close its books for the concluding 2019/20 fiscal year.
With FNB’s 2019/20 financial year coming to an end on 30 June, New Era Sport has established through reliable sources that the bank has been seriously reconsidering and weighing various options around its sponsorship of the NPL, especially given the current excruciating state of football in the country.
FNB and MTC are the joint bankrollers of the currently non-operational NPL, with MTC being the principal financier with a sponsorship of more than N$15 million per season and FNB co-sponsoring the league with N$5 million per annum.
There hasn’t been premiership football in Namibia for almost ten months now due to the unending catfight between the league and its mother body the Namibia Football Association (NFA). For its part, chief sponsor MTC already indicated that it will not renew nor extend its relationship with the league when its financial year comes to an end in September this year.
Meaning after September 2020, the NPL will forfeit its N$15 million per season sponsorship from MTC and with FNB’s fiscal year also closing end of this month, 30 June, the likelihood of the bank extending the relationship with the league remains in tatters and highly unlikely, this publication has been informed by reliable sources.
Both sponsorship agreements – which are a combined N$20 million per season – are over three years and will jointly lapse at the end of the 2019/20 season, which is yet to start and there have been no serious indications of the league kicking off anytime soon.
Contacted for comment yesterday, FNB’s sponsorship and promotions manager Gordon Pokolo confirmed that FNB will close its books for the current financial year end of this month, and that will also possibly mean the remaining N$5 million sponsorship to NPL will be withdrawn and returned to the bank with the closing of the books.
“That is unfortunately how it is. Unless if the leadership of the league approach us and engage us on the way forward for the league and the whole relationship between us and them. They still have a few weeks before end of June – maybe they will still approach us and guide us on the way forward. But as I said, if they don’t approach us within these coming weeks, that sponsorship will lapse with the closing of our books at the end of the month,” said Pokolo.
Pokolo continued: “We have missed out on almost ten months of football due to court cases and the players who are the intended beneficiaries are still suffering. So there will be a lot of aspects to consider when the league hopefully approaches us in the remaining weeks.”