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Rollers salary cut stalemate

Township Rollers Players

Township Rollers President Jagdish Shah remains unshakable on the club’s decision to cut players’ salaries in the wake of COVID-19 which has brought football to a standstill.

The club had proposed salaries cuts for the months of April, May and June but it appears players refused altogether to accept Rollers’ proposal. While it became apparent that players were unimpressed by the club’s position, they came up with their own proposed payments plan to which Shah out rightly turned down.

Players proposed that Shah should pay 75 percent of April salaries additional to the subsidy of the government. They also wanted the club to repeat the same model of payment for the month of May. With June, players want Shah to pay 50 percent salaries and also add government subsidy.

Government pledged to support premier league players with P2.500 for three months of April, May and June. Furthermore, players wanted the club to assist those who are not staying within the team’s premises with P1500 monthly rental allowance.

Rollers players are vigorous on the negotiating table that the team will clear out the remaining balances when the FIFA relief fund becomes active. They are steadfast on this thinking because they believe these payments for the above three months should be treated as ‘deferred payments.’

But Shah, who also doubles as the financer of the club refuses to budge. He believes the players’ proposal is without substance and lacks understanding of business surrounding football. Shah, when responding to the player’s proposal says the players seem not to take cognisant of the club’s financial capability and impact borne of COVID-19.

Sources say Shah explained that club’s financial position is in dire circumstances and will take some considerable time to push it where it used to be. He explained that this is the case because BPL grant has reduced drastically as compared to other football seasons.

He is also believed to have reasoned that the failure by the club to take part in the CAF competitions has harmed their purse and this was also worsened by declining gate takings and prize money that comes with CAF participation.

It is also clear that Shah is livid by what he see as players’ stubbornness in the face of coronavirus. Shah says the club has failed to win any cup competition thus far which means that no prize money was added into the club bank account, sources claim.

Sources further state that Shah reasoned that the club’s membership income has dwindled down as members have not yet renewed their membership because of the inconsistent performance of the team. Further, it is said, Shah argued that the sale of merchandise is at its lowest mainly because of delayed receipt of the same this season.

Of course, the financer did not miss a chance to argue that the gate takings have stopped because the league also came to an abrupt halt, sources say. Shah, who is regarded as a shrewd business man of note argued that the club’s expenses always surpass the income.

He stated clearly that he always bridge the gap with money coming from his personal savings and other business interests.  He explained that he continues to pay other expenses even though football is on hold.  He cites expenses incurred as rents for training ground, accommodation, insurance and vehicle lease which he says, remain unchanged despite the lock down.

In view of these reasons and others, Shah is said to have refused to embrace and kiss the player’s proposal. As things stand, there is a reported deadlock between players and the management.

Sport

Clubs wail as stipends are delayed

29th June 2020

Only Gaborone United (GU), from the elite league, has benefited simply because they have qualified their accounts to the ministry.

Premier League clubs’ patience is finally wearing thin as the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture Development delays the payment of the promised subventions. The Ministry undertook to assist football clubs to make ends meet as corona virus locked down sporting activities.

This publication gathers that the clubs are however forced to wait longer than expected as the Ministry further assesses the situation.

In May, the Ministry of Sport made a reverberating assurance that it will assist clubs bearing in mind the direct impact of COVID- 19 within the local sport. The Tumiso Rakgare led ministry ascertain clubs that they are ready to pay each player P 2.500 for the months of April, May and June.

This kind of assistance /promise was also extended to players plying their trade in the First division league, a stream of clubs just one step below the elite league. There, players are anticipated to receive P 1.500      each for the same period of three months.

However, clubs have begun to show impatience and their temperament towards the Sport Ministry is beginning to shift. Clubs believe what the ministry wants is difficult to prove and will take ages to process for them to qualify for the subventions.

Various club chairpersons refused to comment citing the just released memo that bars them from talking with the media.

It is, all the while, noted that only Gaborone United (GU), from the elite league, has benefited simply because they have qualified their accounts to the ministry. It is also well-known that clubs like BDF XI, Police XI and Prisons XI will not profit from the ministry subvention because they are already aided by the government.

In an earlier interview, Rakgare said clubs should exercise patience and wait for the right time. He said that government transactions are often times slow to be processed but surely it will be done.

“Let me urge the clubs to be patient, government protocols always take some time to be finalized, but for sure, the government keeps its promises even up to now,” he assured.

Some clubs say the sport sector form is difficult to complete. Others say the Ministry has returned them to finalize the paper documents and by the look of things what they want is not easy to give out.

The Ministry needs players/teams to provide proof of wage bill income before the arrival of COVID -19. They also want proof of signed player contracts from clubs. Furthermore clubs are expected to forward proof of compliance with the registrar of societies. Teams are also expected to provide copies of staff payroll for the months of January, February and March.

Moreover, the Ministry wants affidavits indicating that no other relief assistance has been received by clubs. It is why clubs like Township Rollers and Security Systems will not have a dime from the Sport Ministry account because they have applied for the separate BURS subsidy.

A total of 25 players are expected to benefit from each team. For one team, the government is expected to assist with P62.500 per month.

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Sport

BFA, Coaches mend broken affairs

29th June 2020
Coaches Association of Botswana interim President - Chicco Nare

Botswana Football Association (BFA) together with Coaches Association of Botswana have smoked a peace pipe and promised to work for the good of the game after enduring a frosty relationship that spanned three years.

The two organizations found common ground roughly a month before the football association is to hold elective congress for determination of new office bearers.

In 2017, the Coaches Association wanted BFA to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for purposes of recognition as associate members. It was their view that they could not operate in isolation.  

Coaches say they have been running their affairs alongside the governance of the association and this has not helped their course.  It is why upon their self-actualization review, they found out that they incurred unnecessary operational costs. 

“We really cannot operate in isolation, we need the association to work hand in hand with, we are glad that we have kissed and made up,” Nare who is the interim President told this publication.

The Coaches Association was livid because the current BFA regime refused to recognize them well in time. The two sides have found each and the association is believed to have promised to clear some of the debts the coaches have left behind.

It is said the Coaches Association have a debt of P40 000 of unpaid rentals. All their furniture have been attached, this means they have to start from square one again.

The Coaches Association had also refused to sign a code of ethics for coaching because they believe it is better it is channelled in another way. The coaches said it is best they sign the code of ethics after a thorough consultation exercise is done.

An agreement was also made that the Coaches Association of Botswana will register coaches while the BFA will only provide licensing. Again, the coaches have vowed to give advices and run refresher courses for themselves while observing signage between themselves.

The coaches also agreed to play a leading role on who should be appointed as national coaches but not necessarily forcing the BFA to go with their choices. Moreover, coaches want to have a representative at the BFA Technical Committee, one who can represent their views well and unbiased.

The coaches are happy that the association has given them an ear at a very crucial time. Although not highly held, the coaches are anticipated to help canvass country wide support for the current administration to retain power. A couple of them believe the Letshwiti led administration should be accorded a second opportunity to implement their mandate.

The coaches held this meeting with aspiring second Vice President, Masego Ntshingane. The former BDF XI player is believed to be growing well under President Letshwiti and it is why he wants to show the football fraternity why he dumped his former cadres for the new involvement. He is standing against Senki Sesenyi and former Letshwiti supporter Solly Ramochothwane.

Efforts to reach Ntshingane were futile as his phone rang unanswered.

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Sport

FIFA directs Chippa to pay GU

23rd June 2020
Seakanyeng

Gaborone United (GU) has had their opportunity in the courtrooms of FIFA-the world football governing body- to make their case and fight from all angles to force South Africa’s Chippa United to pay them for the purchase of players, Kabelo Seakanyeng and Thatayaone Kgamanyane.

The two players were sold almost two years ago at a combined fee of P600 000 and it appears Chippa has been playing a waiting game until the domestic side’s patience wilted away. GU, therefore, approached FIFA for legal redress and the June 1st verdict came out in their favour.  Chippa United is directed to pay GU P 600 000 within 45 days.

Chippa was left with an egg on the face and was slapped with an ultimatum that should they fail to process the transaction; they will be banned for registering new players, either nationally or internationally, up until the due amount is fully paid. The South African based club was reminded that three consecutive registration periods shall pass without them buying players.

It is not clear why Chippa United played a waiting game after buying the two Botswana international players. GU were represented by Lore Morapedi Attorneys while Chippa, the major actors in this battle, had no representatives.

It is however recalled that the club, few months after signing the players, had their catalysed role in terminating the contracts of both players.

In January of 2019, sources told WeekendSport that Chippa United was facing serious financial meltdowns and as a last resort, a total of 10 players –a number dominated by foreigners- had to be released in a cost cutting exercise.

Seakanyeng and Kgamanyane were therefore the obvious fall guys as the club started to wield an axe. Both players had signed three year deals with the club after impressing at the annual COSAFA Castle Cup tournament held in July of 2018. The two were signed from Gaborone United (GU) where Chippa was to pay a total of P2 million.

As the club was engaging the players, Seakanyeng was said to be battling an over powering dilemma when he wanted to refuse to accept a 6 month settlement.  The player later returned to GU while Seakanyeng was signed a by club in Malta. Both were earning P 80 000 before tax deductions.

At the time of their release, Chippa United was under administration- a far demeaning situation that means that the club’s finances are monitored by the court while Premier Soccer League (PSL) was also intervening.

It is noted that PSL gives clubs R2 million a month for purposes of self-administration. How Chippa’s finances hit a red mark was yet to be established, but what is known is that the club gets a total of R10 million per year from Nelson Mandela Municipality, the government of the Eastern Cape.

The Eastern Cape government relocated Chippa United from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth so that there can be activity at the world cup stadium built in Port Elizabeth.

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