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Chiefs battle identity crisis

Sporting gloves are almost coming off as Mochudi Centre Chiefs house battles an intense transformation crisis. The club that is perched at the summit of the be-MOBILE premier league is standing on the brink of collapse as internal bickering takes centre stage.


Information Weekend Sport is in possession of paints a picture of a life of a club rumbling thorough different phases as it seeks to protect its shining image.


Two companies registered under the umbrella club are engaged in lengthy discussions and talks to find a common understanding.


In 1999, the club registered a company by the name Mochudi Centre Chiefs limited but surprisingly in 2014, the same club registered another company, Mochudi Centre Chiefs PTY Limited.  


According to documentation seen by this publication, the discussions regarding the ‘true’ ownership of the club should have ended on the 9th of March as companies and registration authority threatened to dissolve the new company registered last year as Mochudi Centre Chiefs(PTY) limited.


The directors of the ‘new’ company however mention that they are willing to continue engaging the old ones despite the deadline of the companies and registration authority having lapsed. They have submitted that even though directors of the old company are dragging their feet to alleviate the matter, legally there is room for co-existence.


To further show their intent, the directors of the new company through their attorneys have responded to the registrar asking for extension as the matter is drags to the end.  “Consequently, the discussions are at an early stage, regrettably towards the end of the 60 days period. The purpose of this letter is to request your esteemed office to extend the period at least by 30 days to enable parties to settle the matter. In our opinion, taking all the circumstances in to consideration, we find it appropriate that an extension beyond the 60 days period will be appropriated,” reads part of the letter.


It is noted that the old company is not under immense pressure to come to the negotiating table and had on the 3rd of March requested the new one to remonstrate the entity the company claims to represent, the business of the entity and lastly draw a proposal for them to see if it could be accepted.


CHIEFS DEVELOPMENT ROUTE
Research suggests that Mochudi Centre Chiefs sporting club was first registered in July of 1974. The club was registered as a society under the societies Act of Botswana as a football team. It is noted that the club participated in the upper league of BFA under the terms prescribed in the constitution of the association together with the confinement of the societies act.


Information shows that there had been numerous attempts overtime to transform the club with a view to make it more commercially sustainable and to uplift its football performances. However, such attempts threw the club into some disgruntlements, sabotage and sporadic achievements coupled with factionalism.


Between 1999 and 2003, the club proposed to form an entity known as Mochudi Centre Chiefs Limited (MCCL). The entity was formed by a team of 13 adults who at the time convinced the general membership of the high level transformational elements that needed to be implored to make the club commercially sustainable. The general membership is said to have granted the entity portfolio responsibility to administer its affairs, commercial rights together with trading names. The club was therefore performing politically and financially under this entity until 2003.


However, things took a dramatic twist when the entity called a general meeting in April of 2003. Of the 13 founding members, at least four members declared themselves incapacitated to continue with the administration aspects of the club. With that, the members handed back all the properties of the club including brand name, logo and commercial rights. Amicably, the club accepted, according to information gathered by WeekendSport.


To act towards the sudden decision by the entity, the club opted for an interim committee with a view to determining whether to continue with MCCL under different directors. However, in October 2004, the general membership made a resolution to not continue with MCCL so as to leave the entity defunct while the club continued as it were at inception.


In June 2010, after the club resolved that there was need for transformation, a task force was appointed. The task force was mandated to look into the possible ways in which the club could be transformed including models suitable for the traditional makeup.


Then in 2011, the taskforce recommended that the club be privatised. A resolution was made for everyone to scout for investors to partner with the club. At that time a resolution was also adopted that a trust be formed given the difficulties encountered in transforming the society club to a private entity.


It came to pass that in 2013, the club partnered with the Jamali family following lengthy discussions. Jamali was given a 60% share of the club while inviting other members for equity participation within two years. This later saw another decision being made to dissolve the existence of the club as a society and transform it into a trust. Records show that the Mochudi Centre Chiefs trust was formed under the Notarial Trust deed on 26th February 2014.


On the same year of 2014, another entity Ribbons Investment (PTY) Ltd emerged as a result of its partnership with the trust. Based on the operating costs, Jamali Family owns 60%, Maclean Letshwiti 20%, Ernest Molome 20 % while the trust has the remaining 10%.


In May 2014, after Ribbons investment assumed all affairs of the club, another entity by the name Mochudi Centre Chiefs (PTY) Ltd was formed. The same entity that has now set the fire burning inside chief’s house was formed following a decision to change the affiliation status of the club at BFA.


According to laws of the country, the former risks being dissolved unless a common understanding is reached.

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Sport

KBL closure scuppers BFA deal

25th January 2021
Football

The negotiations involving Botswana Football Association (BFA) and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) over elite league sponsorship have suffered a setback as the local brewer this week took what it termed a ‘difficult’ decision to shut down operations.

This effectively means that football sponsorship is back in
its dark corner as all efforts to go back to the field take another nasty twist in the midst of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is regrettable that this latest total ban on alcohol sales has resulted in the suspension of KBL operations, which will remain in place for as long as the alcohol ban persists. KBL continues its efforts to engage government on this critical issue, which is having an enormous impact on the industry and its extensive value chain,” the company explained.

Although not proudly maintained at Lekidi Football Centre, the company is said to have abandoned talks on explanations revolving around ‘lack of funds.’In the initial agreement, sources say that it was settled that KBL would sponsor the Botswana Football League at a tune of P30million for a period of three years.

It is maintained that the deal was to be relooked and redefined to fit the sponsorship modalities of today’s game.Highly placed sources speaking with this publication however state that BFA is assisting BFL to cajole other companies to come on board as football is about to return to the field.

Top of the list is ABSA Bank who have remained afloat despite the impacts of the virus. The bank is said to be committed to football but sources say it will take a considerable amount of persuasion to see the bank increasing sponsorship.

KBL, in the first phase, were willing to commit without much difficulties but after the storm of COVID-19, the company was to take a back seat and played a waiting game. They reasoned that the continuous lockdown the country has gone under has left them with little income than expected.

But according to sources, KBL is still expressing pleasure to engage with the association again and will further illustrate their willingness to come on board as soon as the corona virus situation subsides.It is said KBL has requested further information regarding sponsorship value from the association and once satisfied, negotiations will resume.

However, some administrators within the National Executive Committee believe KBL’s parting message does not inspire confidence. “KBL‘s phase is over, they gave us hope but it is difficult to keep track of them, COVID-19 has affected every plan,” one member shared.

At the close last season, way before the corona virus impacted the country negatively; BFA revealed that it had long compiled its situation analysis of sponsorship value for the local game. It was understood that the property that is the Premier League could be purchased at a value P 15 million over 43 premier league games.

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Sport

BFA proposes new league format

25th January 2021
Maclean letshwiti

Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, Maclean Letshwiti.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is engaged in protracted talks to stage a mini-league as lee-way to ascend into a proper football season by August this year.

The idea is to keep players fit and all football structures functioning as time pressure mounts.Informants say the idea is discussed at the competition office and will soon be forwarded to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for further deliberations.

This therefore means that all leagues across the country will be played for only one round until August where a new full football season will resume. Football has never returned to the field for almost 10 months now due to the corona virus.

The situation on the ground looks gloomy as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with each passing day.
Football clubs are also feeling the pinch with Sua Flamingos becoming the latest victims. The club has been forced to suspend operations as players and members of the technical team test positive for the deadly virus.

While playing a mini-league is a last resort, it is mentioned that no team will be promoted or relegated after the completion of the games.Sources say it is better than folding arms when teams are continuing to pay players without kicking the ball.

The idea of the mini-league therefore means that there will be no prize money but teams will likely survive with grants from identifiable sponsors. Already, the Botswana Football League (BFL) has secured a P 5 million television deal for over three years.

The BFL think tanks contemplate to augment the television deal with sponsorship grants from ABSA bank. According to information, this will keep the league and its secretariat running until everything gets back to normalcy.

“It is true we are thinking to stage a mini league looking at what we have but this is still an infant idea, we are discussing and we will engage NEC going forward,” a member of the association shared.BFA leadership finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place as the motion to kick start the league in February was shot down by the assembly in October of last year.

The movers of the motion argued that high temperatures usually recorded in the South of Sahara desert negatively affects player performance and their overall health conditions. However, there were intentions to commence the league at the earliest possible time but the task force together with the Ministry of Sport wanted players to be tested and football fields be fumigated regularly to avoid spreading the virus.

Early this week, the BFL leadership engaged the Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) to give an update on how football will return. However, this publication cannot adequately establish the detailed plan of the league.

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Orapa United re-sign Ramoraka from TS Galaxy

25th January 2021
LESENYA RAMORAKA

Boteti based side, Orapa United were quick to snatch back Zebras left-back, Lesenya Ramoraka, tying him with a two-year deal after he was released this week by TS Galaxy.

The 26 year-old defender left The Ostriches in 2018 to join Highlands Park who later sold their status last year to renowned football agent Tim Sukazi of TS Galaxy. Ramoraka’s contract was to end this year July.

At the time of the sale, the team then opted not to register him for another season hoping to register him in the January transfer but his injury kept him out for longer than anticipated, forcing TS Galaxy to release him as he was free to start to negotiate with any team that may be interested in him.

“We have signed Ramoraka after assessing his injury and he is in Orapa as we speak doing his rehab.The injury is not bad and we expect him to resume light training anytime from mid- February,” said Kabo William, the club spokesperson.

Ramoraka left an impressive mark at Highlands Park where he played 29 games in all competitions and netting only once. Lee, as he is known in football circles, is one of the most trusted left backs in the country and has been a vital part of the Zebras with his absence felt at the national team.

“The team had wanted to keep him but they were just concerned that his injury was taking long to heal and they opted to release him as you cannot have a player out for too long more especially who is a foreigner,” said a source.

“He had survived the changes at the team and you have to also note that the coach who brought him, Owen Da Gama also just joined TS Galaxy and he is one of the players that he trusted and used so it is not a matter of performance but they couldn’t afford to have him on the side-lines for too long.”

Orapa United have also announced the signing of other players that include; Thabiso Boti formerly with Notwane, Kutlo Kolagano from City Eagles, Galagwe Moyana who was released by Township Rollers, Kagisano Mungu from TAFIC and the team promoted Phemelo Pushudi from their development side.

The Ostriches have released goalkeeper Bophelo Kealeboga who has signed a 2 year deal with Sua Flamingos, Mothusi Johnson who retraced his steps back to Gaborone United, Baboloki Makhura and Abdullah Hamisi.

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