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Dembare mum on Gold Leaf Tobacco deal

HARARE team Dynamos have remained tight-lipped on their five-year partnership with Gold Leaf Tobacco, which still had two and a half years to run when they signed another lucrative deal with petroleum company Sakunda Holdings last week.

Two of the country's biggest clubs Dynamos and Highlanders signed a combined US$5,3 million sponsorship package with Sakunda at a glittering ceremony in Harare on Tuesday.

However, in return the clubs granted Sakunda non-exclusive sponsorship rights while they are not allowed to enter into any similar agreement with any other entity.

Sakunda was also granted exclusive rights to brand the front center part of all kits for the first team and technical team, where, in the case of Dynamos

Gold Leaf Tobacco previously held the privileges.

It appears that Dynamos may have to renegotiate new terms with Gold Leaf Tobacco or sever the ties in a potentially litigious scenario.

The Sakunda deal is a second multi-million dollar capture for the Glamour Boys who entered into a five-year agreement with the tobacco giant Gold Leaf Tobacco through their cigarette brand Rudland & George, worth $1 million a season.

Mystery, however, continues to surround Dynamos' marriage with their previous sponsors with the club insisting DeMbare prefer to celebrate the new deal only.

"The most important thing is that we have a new partner and we are happy at the moment. We are not thinking about other issues as a club. The fact that we have not given a statement means that there is nothing to say at the moment with regards to the Gold Leaf Tobacco partnership," Dynamos executive board spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said.

"Like the chairman (Isaiah Mupfurutsa) said, the Sakunda Holdings sponsorship is a game changer for Dynamos. We will make sure that we make the most of it."

But it is the Gold Leaf Tobacco partnership that has given DeMbare the financial stability, which has eluded them in years gone by.

The club also managed to weather the Covid-19 storm, which affected sports on a global level as traditional rivals Highlanders and CAPS struggled with salaries for players and staff during the pandemic.

In contrast their rivals Bosso struggled to pay salaries after telecommunications company NetOne abandoned them and CAPS United a few months after football was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

At the beginning of the month Bosso celebrated a six month partnership deal with internet service providers Utande, which came into effect on September 1.

Utande injected $3,6 million into Bosso's coffers towards the payment of the outstanding salaries for the first team players.

Bosso, who are on cloud nine over the Sakunda Holdings sponsorship, revealed that they will keep the partnership with Utande.

"We are professional as a club. We enter into partnerships and our partnerships are for a lifetime," Bosso chairman Johnfart Sibanda told Standardsport.

"We also had to put our cards on the table and the new sponsor knew about our agreement with Utande when they came in, so there is no problem,

"As a matter of fact we are still looking for more partnerships so that we can continue to grow as a club.

"The two agreements are not running concurrently and you realise that Utande is an IT company, while Sakunda is into energy, so they will find each other.

"Ultimately, we are bringing everyone together in a win-win situation for everyone involved.

"However, the Sakunda deal is huge for us and it allows us to focus on important things that grow the club other than worrying about salaries.

"It helps us pursue professionalism as a club as well as a chance to focus on football development and creating an industry where players make a living and ultimately perform to their level best."

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