PLMC must solve this confusion

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Moorosi Tsiane

THE new Econet Premier League season commenced last weekend with all 14 teams playing their first matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Prior to the matches, the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) made a bold announcement that the gate tickets for the new season had been increased from M20 to M30.

This angered many football supporters and, in my view, rightly so. The new fares could be the attribute for the poor turnout at Setsoto Stadium on Saturday where Bantu played Sefotha-fotha and Swallows clashed with Matlama.

While I understand that tickets prices won’t remain the same forever, I think this was a bad timing for the PLMC to increase ticket prices as there are several issues that need to be sorted first before we can even think of increasing ticket prices.

Only Maputsoe DIFA Ground and Setsoto Stadium are worth that fee.

Imagine supporters paying M30 to watch a football match at LCS, PTC and Ratjomose Grounds, where there are no stands, no toilets and no running water.

I think these are some of the issues that the PLMC should have considered before increasing the sales.

The PLMC said the prices were meant to accommodate the sponsors, Econet Telecom Lesotho.

According to PLMC the M30 ticket will come with a M5 Skafthin voucher from Econet and the tickets are supposed to be sold by the sponsors at their shops all over the country.

The PLMC said from the ticket sales, Econet will get M5 from every ticket sold while the PLMC will get 10 percent of the remaining M25 which goes to the teams.

This was in contravention of Section 5.3 of the Elite League Regulations. The regulations state that all the income is meant for the home teams while the PLMC is only entitled to 10 percent of the ticket sales according to the section 60.3.

“Save and except for the advertising boards awarded to the league, all income derived from perimeter and other advertising at grounds shall be for the account of the owners of the advertising rights at such grounds, which shall normally be the home team unless different contractual conditions exist for that particular ground,” reads the section.

Section 60.3 reads: “The league shall be entitled to 10 percent of the gross takings at all matches involving members of the league”.

Nowhere in the regulations does it say that the PLMC should give sponsors money.

In as much as I understand that sponsors also need to have returns from their investments, I think here PLMC went about the process in the wrong manner. To worsen the matters, the teams were on engaged in the implementation stage and not conceptualisation.

PLMC must provide a platform for their sponsors to market their products instead of giving them money from ticket sales especially without the teams’ consent. PLMC should provide Econet with space for branding during the matches as per section 5.1 of the Elite Football Regulations.

I am aware that last weekend’s tickets were sold by the hosting teams just like in previous seasons and the new system hasn’t started working. The PLMC should go back to the previous M20 ticket price for league matches.

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