Kaizer Chiefs have accumulated over R1.5 million in expenses for the past Caf Cup Winners Cup campaign but are yet to receive television revenue from the African football controlling body and this could lead to non-participation in future, according to Chiefs financial manager Jason Raine.
“The rules state that clubs do not own any marketing rights,” says Raine.
That rule only applies to the final and for the other games the marketing and television rights belong to the home team.
“Caf sold those rights to a company called Group Jean-Claude Darmon. That’s the reason we didn’t have any branding around the stadium in the final,” said Raine.
“In fact two days before the final they went to Ellis Park and told them to take off all the signage and Ellis Park told them if that was the case they should go and look for another stadium.”
In addition Caf told Chiefs they were not allowed to wear Vodacom on the jerseys on the day of the final. But Chiefs ignored that and were subsequently fined over $10 000.
Says Kaizer Chiefs Brand Manger emy Casaletti-Page: “We have been trying to teach CAF and their marketing agency Jean-Claude Darmon about commercialisation. We feel that in order to add value to the Mandela Cup, Caf needs to prove how much its worth to potential sponsors and the only way to measure this is by allowing perimeter branding and jersey branding.
“Thereafter the exposure measured for these particular sponsors will prove exactly how much its worth. Only then do you have something to offer, otherwise you’re asking for a thumbsuck sponsorship figure for the event. In my dealings with the agency I found them to be unrealistic, ignorant of the market and very arrogant.”
As Group Jean-Claude Darmon owns all the marketing rights, Raine says, they have to provide a reconciliation to Caf at the end of the competition showing how much they have sold and the amount of money made through television rights. From this they have to take a percentage of the commission (standard commission) and Caf also gets a percentage.
The two clubs would then also get a percentage. But to this day Chiefs are yet to get the money generated from the Mandela Cup final. Raine says it has been a frustrating battle to solicit the money from Caf.
“We have incurred great expenses in competing in the Mandela Cup,” says Raine. “And the cash flow implications have now become a serious problem. We find it totally unacceptable that it takes close to seven months for the Caf marketing company to resolve the issue of outstanding monies.”
Chiefs wrote a number of letters to Caf via PSL and Safa for a reconciliation and an update on monies due to Chiefs but the response which came on July 21 said Caf had not heard anything yet from Group Jean-Claude Darmon.
“Reference your fax of 5th July 2002, concerning the television and marketing rights for Mandela Cup final played at the end of November/December 2001 and the television and marketing rights for the Super Cup played in Cairo during the month of March 2002.
“Please be informed that Caf has not yet received the final statement of account from our commercial partner, Group Jean-Claude Darmon,” said the statement from Caf signed by head of finance and admin Mrs Karam Moustapha.
But Raine is not convinced by the Caf response and added that Chiefs would ask for Safa intervention in extracting all the monies owed to Chiefs.
“We cannot accept that Caf has not yet received a statement of accounts from Group Jean-Claude Darmon. We must insist on Safa to intervene on this matter so that it can reach finality,” added Raine. “Our financial year ends on Friday and our shareholders are screaming for answers.”
Chiefs are however not aware of the exact amount due to them but Raine adds that Caf generated revenue as both legs of the Mandela Cup final were broadcast live on SuperSport. “One of the problems we have is that we can’t deal directly with Caf, communication has to go to PSL then Safa who takes the matter up with Caf.”
For the Super Cup, there is no prize money but the two teams share gate-takings and Al Ahly charged $3 per person to get into the stadium.
“I am not sure how much money was generated form that but the money is then split up to cover the costs of flying the visiting team and the reminder is shared between the two teams,” says Raine. “I believe Al Ahly collected that money and that does not need a reconciliation. So I do not understand why we have not yet received money from that game.”
“We are taking a dim view of the whole matter,” he says. “We have external shareholders who are very much business orientated and they are not really interested in the emotional attachment for playing in these competitions. At the end of the day they say it cost you R1.5 million and if there’s no prize money why are we throwing over R1.5 million down the drain?”
Raine said the directors would look at the merits of participating in such competitions and also challenged Safa to give financial assistance to local teams featuring in Caf competitions.