Absa and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have announced that the bank’s PSL sponsorship will end at the end of the 2019/2020 season.
Absa has been PSL’s main sponsor for 13 years and has had a 16-year relationship with football in the country.
In a statement on Thursday, Absa Group Chief Executive Daniel Mminele said, “We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the PSL and have supported the PSL’s work in South African football and sports development.”
Mminele added, “While we will no longer be the anchor sponsor for the PSL, soccer will always remain close to our hearts. We are therefore exploring alternative options to continue our relationship with the PSL.”
PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza said the league was grateful to Absa for “strengthening [it] to true professionalism.”
“The Absa Premiership era will forever be a reference point for football glory, both in terms of club development and player performance in our sports history.”
The league, previously known as the Castle Premiership from 1996 until 2007 when Absa began its sponsorship, is now on the hunt for a new anchor sponsor.
R140m a season
Reports indicate that Absa’s sponsorship of the league was worth R140 million a season over the past three years.
The PSL enjoyed record financial success in the 2018/2019 financial year when it announced a revenue total of R1 billion.
The news therefore comes at a tricky time given the suspension of sporting activities during the lockdown. The league has been suspended since mid-March.
According to level 3 regulations published by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, only non-contact sports will be allowed behind closed doors.
No football for now – SAFA
Some football leagues around the world, such as the English Premier League, Serie A and La Liga, are set to resume soon.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the SA Football Association (SAFA) reiterated that the lockdown rules, “no football matches are allowed to take place, whether it is amateur, social or in any capacity.”
SAFA Acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said, “Everything is on hold as things stand and we must all await government instructions on the way forward.”