Royal AM have secured themselves a mouth-watering R27 million sponsorship deal with Msunduzi Municipality to play at Harry Gwala Stadium for three years.
Royal AM are set to leave Durban to play in Pietermaritzburg after Msunduzi Municipality ended their agreement for Harry Gwala Stadium with Maritzburg United following their relegation to the Motsepe Foundation Championship, which was set to expire at the end of next season.
The municipality said it cannot have the venue not play top-flight football in a statement and called an emergency meeting to iron out the issues on Wednesday.
The purpose of the meeting “was to present to Council the opportunity to enter into a sponsorship agreement with the Royal AM Football Club,” said the letter.
“The Msunduzi Municipality has, since the 2014/15 financial year, entered into a sponsorship agreement with Maritzburg United Football Club.
“The most recent (3) year deal sponsorship agreement between the Msunduzi Municipality and the MUFC was due to expire at the end of June 2024.
“Due to the relegation of Maritzburg to the Motsepe Foundation Championship, the current deal sponsorship agreement will be terminated as one of the conditions of the sponsorship was for the club to remain in the premier division.
“The proposal to sponsor the Pietermaritzburg-based Royal AM Football Club is based on the above background.”
The letter added: “Since the imminent termination of the agreement with MUFC, it makes sense to identify a suitable local soccer club that the Municipality can establish a relationship with that will see the same benefits and spin-off that the city has enjoyed since 2014.”
In this proposed sponsorship with Royal AM is three years with an amount “of R9-million per annum (excluding VAT) + CPI in the two outer years. In addition to the cash sponsorship, the agreement will include the cost for the maintenance of the Harry Gwala Stadium in order to keep it in compliance with the PSL standards.”
The municipality added it cannot let this opportunity pass them as it “boasted a gross multimedia exposure to the value of R55.2 million per season and the similar level of exposure will be expected during the partnership agreement with the Royal AM”.
On Thursday, the Premier Soccer League have announced the confirmed fixtures and home venues for the 2023/24 DStv Premiership season and Royal AM’s home games are listed at Harry Gwala Stadium.
But it is not just Royal Am leaving Chatsworth Stadium, as other stadiums in Durban are also set to become white elephants.
Richards Bay, who were playing matches at King Zwelithini Stadium last term, will be going back to their base at Umhlathuze Sports Ground this coming season in Richards Bay.
Golden Arrows, who were playing at Princess Magogo Stadium, will be based at Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammarsdale.
Only AmaZulu are set to be left in the city to use Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Story by Robin-Duke Madlala (@duke_robin).