The decision was reached onver the weekend, following a meeting among executive members of the football house. The league was expected to have resumed on Monday, June 18, 2012, but was unanimously postponed to the 2nd of July, 2012.
According to LFA, the postponement was to allow the premier, 1st, 2nd and female division’s clubs ample time to review the Cellcom’s direct cash assistance.
As part of the deal an amount of US$106,500 is expected to be distributed among the 56 participating clubs in the four categories, including premier, first and second division men and women clubs, of the 2011/2012 national league.
The deal further indicated that each of the 16 premier clubs will pocket US$3,000; while each of the 15 first division teams will receive US$2,000.
Also, 13 clubs from the second division will each benefit US$1,500, while the 12 female clubs will each get US$750. According to report, the request to sufficiently review the Cellcom’s ‘cash sponsorship deal was led by the Premier League Board, through its Chairman, G. Andy Quarmie.
Investigation conducted by this paper earlier revealed that the 16 premier football clubs have authorized the Premier League Board to seek alternative sponsorship offers from Lonestar Cell MTN, Chevron, APM Terminal, BHP Biliton, Arcelor Mittal, along with other concessions and big businesses.
The Premier League Board has also been mandated to write Cellcom GSM regarding the rejection of the US$3,000 offered, and to instead request the GSM Company to increase the premier club sponsorship to at least US$10,000.
The Premier clubs are opting for an increase sponsorship pack to improve the welfare of players and technicians, including better medicals, amongst others.
According to the investigation, the second phase of Premier League may not resume until a mouth-watering sponsorship deal is consummated.
When our reporter talked to some of the presidents of the premier clubs, who begged for anonymity, they confirmed their rejection of the US$3,000 deal and the authorization of the Premier League Board to notify Cellcom GSM accordingly, and seek another sponsorship.
Citing the termination of the Sierra Leonean Premier League due of the lack of sponsorship from the Sierra Leonean Football Association, and others who promised to sponsor the SLFA premier league, which was only resumed after the intervention of the national government, the clubs’ presidents told our reporter that their teams will also hang their jerseys and boots in case of failure to obtain alternative and better sponsorships.
When our reporter contacted the Chairman of the Premier League Board, Mr. G. Andy Quamie, he could neither confirm nor deny the story.
Meanwhile, the LFA has signed a sponsorship agreement of the national football league with Cellcom GSM that could go a long way in enhancing the development of Liberian football if properly implemented.
The US$ 500,000 package which covers all the leagues under the supervision of the Liberia Football Association will run for three years until October 2013.
The LFA has entered into another three-year sponsorship for the Lone Star, the Liberian nation’s pride and joy, in the tone of about US$4.5 million.
The boss of Liberia’s football administration, Mussa Bility, said that the sponsorship deals, which he described as the largest ever in the LFA history will improve the game. Mr. Bility’s also termed the deals as a giant step in his quest for ‘football commercialization’ in the Liberian nation.
The sponsorship agreements reached in 2011 are yet to be publically rolled out for the Liberian people viewing and scrutiny.