While a couple of clubs are adopting a hardline stance on players’ salaries as Coronavirus continues to spread rampantly, a report compiled by the Botswana Premier League (BPL), also in possession of WeekendSport appears to dismiss the long standing suggestion by elite clubs that money accrued from gate takings can help them pay part of salaries of their players.
Clubs are contemplating instituting pay cuts for players because football has gone into lock down because of the spread of the novel coronavirus. Clubs believe there is no sense in paying players while there is no action hence no gate takings.
However, the report states that money gained by clubs from gate takings is too little to pay salaries, in the process rubber stamping what the Footballers’ Union of Botswana (FUB) has been saying the past two weeks. The Union, in part, argues that teams have been paying players during off season when there is no action.
The report has touched on 8 games and the figures fall short of the suggestions from club owners. The first club whose gate takings have been assessed is BDF XI. In the last 8 games played, the club made a total of P8,385.30.
The club made very little money against Orapa United collecting a mere P126.00. They only tried to make a ‘kill’ when playing against Miscellaneous S.C. In that game, BDF XI remarkably made P2,394.00.
In the last games, Gilport Lions was also assessed. The club, struggling against relegation, has made P36,670.20. In the last 8 games, the club made the least money (P 50.40) against TAFIC. They also made their highest money against Township Rollers which stood at P23,700.60
Orapa United was also assessed. The club as powered by Debswana has made P27,064.80 in the last 8 games. This figure is seen to be too little to help in payments of players. By all accounts, Orapa United’s wage bill is approximately P375 000 per month and P27 000 is consumed by only 4 players.
Township Rollers appears to be the only team to have made better amounts. In the last 8 games, they made P184,984.80. It is seen as good amounts, but by Rollers standards, it is too little to help. Rollers wage bill is about P 400 000 per month.
Another club whose gate takings were assessed is Jwaneng Galaxy. The club made P69,060.60. Again, it falls short to augment Galaxy’s monthly wages. The club, also powered by Debswana, needs a total of about P450 000 to pay players and other backroom staff members.
However, clubs are still waiting for decisions from government on the Covid 19 relief fund. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture Development has promised that it will cover teams’ expenses until COVID-19 is finally defeated.
Some of the Premier League clubs and their salary bills:
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.
Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.
The Forward 3.0 funds â€“ to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.
According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.
â€śIt is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,â€ť Infantino noted.
The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.
â€śA contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and refereesâ€™ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,â€ť the report indicated.
FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.
Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.
For the specific projects â€“ in the case of Botswana and Namibia â€“ there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.
The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.
When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; â€śOurs is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.â€ť