Chief Executive resignation spells doom for League
Botswana Premier League (BPL)’s long standing wish to operate independently is fast withering away following their unpopular decision to dock points from Sankoyo Bush Bucks and later somersaulting.
The premier league board as led by Notwane Chairman Arnold Somolekae is battling identity crisis and there is visibly a dark spirit of militancy sweeping across the board. The resignation of their Chief Executive Officer Bennett Mamelodi, although not highly maintained, is believed to be complicating the already knotty case of premier league autonomy.
WeekendSport is reliably informed that this week’s fracas inside the league has seriously dented the league’s ambitions to operate autonomously, and their overseer Botswana Football Association (BFA) is contemplating prolonging those negotiations. Mamelodi, before stepping down was drafted within the committee tasked on a fact finding mission regarding the issue of autonomy.
It is understood that the association’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has been irked by the operations of the league and the latest brawl has the league being considered as incompetent. The league had previously submitted the Kenyan and South African premier league models to the NEC and was to choose one of the two to use. Several efforts to contact the league CEO however, proved futile as his phone rang answered.
Although it is clear that the premier league cannot be dependent of the association, once a model is chosen, clubs would be able to keep checks and balances on each other. But such thoughts are no longer held high given the trust weakening drastically between the two bodies. This publication further learnt that the association was a step closer to accepting the Kenyan model.
The president of the association was previously quoted saying, “the issue of autonomy should be handled with care to avoid cases of being carried away.” According to him, the league has not furnished convincing results as to why they want independence.
According to research, with the Kenyan model, Premier League Clubs took advantage of the conflict between the Government and The FA and divorced itself totally from the FA and forming a Company called the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) owned by all the Clubs equally, as in England, with a unique structure of having only the Chairmen representing the Clubs in the Board with no deputies, acting Chairmen, representatives for absentees and the Chairman of the Board is automatically- the Chairman of the winning team of the previous League assuming the position.
It has ensured that the clubs appoint Chairmen suitable for such honour and since the League is owned by them as share-holders, they are bound to be transparent and accountable, and individually they serve as a check on each other.
Expenditures are approved by the Board whilst the Secretariat handles all administrative works. Their only form of revenue is the TV Rights sold to Super Sport for $ 500,000 in the first year, which has now been renewed at about $ 2 million a year.
Currently in Botswana, the league board is made of sixteen premier league chairpersons. There is also an executive committee of the board which the premier league chairman and his vice are part of. There is also a Chief Executive Officer who happens to head the league secretariat.
Although the league‘s dream of standing alone from the BFA comes from afar, it is reported that this time around the BPL has muddled still waters in going over board to make decisions beyond their reach. Insiders revealed to this publication that the Kenyan model of autonomy was to be adopted more so the country itself has seen its football administration reaching greater heights.
However, influential players within the NEC are reportedly gunning down the idea following the emotional decisions witnessed at the board level.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.