Absa Premiership

Difficult period ahead for PSL clubs following end of Absa deal

Stan Matthews (Gallo Images)
Stan Matthews (Gallo Images)
  • The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has announced the end of its relationship with main sponsor Absa.
  • The announcement brings to an end a 16-year relationship that will be a major loss to South African football.
  • SuperSport United CEO Stan Matthews says the "PSL can't be shielded from these harsh economic realities".

SuperSport United CEO Stan Matthews believes Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs are in for a difficult period after Absa ended its sponsorship deal with the association.

Absa has enjoyed a 16-year relationship with football in South Africa, 13 of which (since 2007) have been as sponsor of the Absa Premiership.

According to reports, Absa was investing R140 million a season in the most recent three-year sponsorship deal that comes to an end after the conclusion of the current 2019/2020 campaign.

Matthews, who is also a member of the PSL Executive Committee, said the soccer fraternity is worried following the announcement on Thursday morning.

"Of course, we are all worried about the current economic climate in the country and around the world," the SuperSport United CEO said, as quoted by KickOff.

"The PSL can't be shielded from these harsh economic realities. As clubs, we are going to have to make some serious adjustments around how to balance our books.

"So, you can expect a lot of uncertainty in this space until a new league sponsor is announced and we can all bed down some stability at these uncertain times.

"I'm extremely sad to see the end of the Absa sponsorship. We won the old Absa Cup in 2005 and then the first three Absa Premierships (2008-2010) so you can forgive me for being biased.

"Absa have been incredible stakeholders in the PSL and are held in the highest regard by everyone. Their contribution has been immense, and we need to reflect on it with gratitude and appreciation.

"It's unfortunate that their league sponsorship has ended but I'm confident that like all the PSL’s special longstanding relationships, Absa and the PSL will continue to find ways to collaborate to add value, excitement, and legacy to the South African football landscape."

The news will come as a major loss to the league which in November 2019 for the first time in its history declared a record R1 billion in revenue for the 2018/2019 financial year.

The league, which was previously sponsored by Castle Lager - then known as the Castle Premiership - from its inception in 1996 until 2007, will now be looking to secure a new title sponsor moving forward.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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