Digicel: We Paid Sponsorship Money
Fri, Jan 27, '06
UPDATE: Another tour, another major delay in releasing monies owed to West Indies cricketers.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has confirmed it has missed payments of approximately US$135,000 in sponsorship money owed to players for the 2005-06 tour of Australia. "This is correct," said WICB CEO Roger Brathwaite in an e-mail exchange with CaribbeanCricket.com. "[A]rrangements are being made to settle by next week."
According to the match/tour contract between with WICB and the players, all payments must be paid not later than 30 days after the tour ends. ?The WICB is always in breach of the contract. This is something that happens all the time, every time,? says a source familiar with the situation.
The unpaid US$135,000 is the money due from the Digicel sponsorship deal. As part of the match/tour contract, the players have certain promotional obligations to the sponsor (wearing Digicel-branded apparel, promotional appearances, etc).
When the West Indies Players? Association (WIPA) approached the WICB on behalf of the cricketers, it was told that the regional board was facing a cash-flow crisis and was forced to delay payments.
Digicel made it clear the hold-up had nothing to do with missed payments from its end.
"All Digicel payments to the West Indies Cricket Board have not only been paid up to date but also have been paid in advance of due dates," said Maureen Rabbitt, a spokeswoman for Digicel.
"I suggest you follow up directly with the WICB if you have any other questions on this matter," Rabbitt told CaribbeanCricket.com.
The WICB's Brathwaite promised a public statement would be made to clarify the issue.UPDATE: The WICB issued the following statement on Saturday, Jan. 28
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) advises that outstanding sponsorship fees owed to the players arising from the West Indies tour to Australia were previously scheduled for payment last week (week beginning January 16th 2006) and were delayed on account of timing issues related to facilities and collections.
The WICB confirms that it has put facilities in place to settle these outstanding liabilities.
Players' accounts will be credited by next week (beginning January 30th 2006).
All payments from the team sponsors Digicel are fully up-to-date and Digicel is in no way responsible for the delay in payment.