By Ricky Zililo
Highlanders have said they will not accept the Zifa kit deal which the national association is negotiating without the club’s consent.
Bosso chairman Kenneth Mhlophe said the replica jerseys designed by the club and manufactured in China will soon be available for sale.
Zifa has reportedly engaged a United Kingdom leading sportswear manufacturer, Umbro through a South African agent that initiated the Warriors’ kit deal to make kits for all Premier Soccer League teams.
Zifa board member Phillimon Machana emerged from the weekend meeting with Premiership board of governors and announced that they had identified an international kit supplier to sponsor Premiership football teams in the coming season but did not name the supplier.
The arrangement will see the kit maker also providing replicas for the clubs.
Machana said clubs will pay nothing upfront for the replicas and will only pay the the wholesale price of the merchandise after selling the merchanise and retain the profits.
“We have made remarkable progress in talking to a reputable international kit supplier who would like to provide kits to willing Premiership clubs. The way we want to craft the deal will be such that we create money for our clubs as well.
“If a club wants the kit, they will also be provided with a certain number of replicas which they would be able to sell. The clubs sell the replicas at their own margin and retain the profit,” Machana told our sister paper The Herald.
Mhlophe however distanced his club from the Zifa deal.
“Highlanders is a brand and what we’ve learnt in the past is that we should control negotiations of deals such as kit sponsorship. We’ve got lots of followers and we want to tap into that market.
“Members gave us a mandate to provide replicas that will be sold and help the club generate revenue and that has been attended to. I can’t pre-empt what we’ve been doing but we’re working round the clock to make sure that the aspects of replicas is taken care of soon,” Mhlophe said.
He said clubs interested in the Zifa deal can go ahead because his club had long taken a position on the issue.
Highlanders have in the past engaged Umbro but it seems they have found a new supplier who is expected to deliver replica jerseys soon.
According to club sources, Bosso designed their own replica jerseys that were manufactured in China and are expected in the country next month.
They will be sold at reasonable prices, with the club’s objective being to push volumes.
Highlanders have been posting snippets of the designs on their official social media platforms and asking followers for their opinions on the product.
“The replicas’ shipment was paid sometime back and they should be landing in the country from China next month.
“It’s something being kept under wraps and that’s why you’ve been seeing some posts of shorts and socks on social media. The t-shirts will be unveiled once everything arrives,” said the source.
Bulawayo Chiefs beat all local teams by setting up an online store to sell the club’s merchandise.
Highlanders are reported to have worked on their online store, which will be launched once all merchandise arrives from China. The Chronicle