Sleeping dogs have not lied down at Township Rollers. Two Directors, Jagdish Shah and Somerset Gobuiwang, are fighting tooth and nail as transformation issues remain unresolved between their companies; Township Holdings and Rollers football club.
At the turn of last year, Gobuiwang’s lawyers, Thabiso Tafila attorneys, wrote to the First Instant Body of Botswana Football Association (BFA) arguing that Township Rollers should not be issued with a club licensing certificate until the transformation dispute is resolved.
“Our client is aware that Township Rollers Football Club is applying for a club license but he is of the view that such can only be entertained once the dispute between him, Jagdish Shah and the club have been resolved,” Somerest’s lawyer wrote.
Gobuiwang argues that he is a bona fide director of the company that is supposed to oversee the administration of the club but time and time again, he is not consulted when some of the decisions are carried out.
Records show that Shah and Gobuiwang each hold 50% stake in Township Holdings. The records state that any decision affecting the company and the club should be authorized by virtue of a resolution of the directors of the company.
Gobuiwang’s lawyers are of the view that Shah has over the years shunned and avoided to have any discussions whatsoever with Gobuiwang. This, they say, cannot be allowed to stand as their client wonders how things have been running without his involvement as a shareholder and a director of the company.
Furthermore, both Shah and Gobuiwang also hold 10% shares each for and on behalf of the football club which makes the club a shareholder in Township Holding (PTY) Limited.Gobuiwang affirms that “such issues need to be canvassed and resolved as it is also in the interest of BFA and the supporters as well as well as the general public to know who is who in this kind of arrangement before a license can be issued.”
When approached for comment, Township Rollers spokesperson Phempheretlhe Pheto could not give adequate clarity on the issue only saying that this is a directorship matter and it has nothing to do with the football club.
Shah also directed this publication’s enquiry to either Khumoyame Masonya who is the club Secretary General or the club Chairman, Walter Kgabung, for further clarity. He said he cannot talk about Township Rollers now.
“I cannot talk about that matter now, please check with Kgabung or Masonya for assistance,” he briefly shared.However, it turns out that in May of 2020, Jagdish Shah through his lawyers Ngakaagae and Company wrote to Gobuiwang to furnish explanation on change of shareholding structure in Township Holding Company.
This came to the fore after realization that Shah now holds 100% shareholding in the entity and that Gobuiwang has been removed from the share register.“You will recall that that prior to that change, you held fifty percent of shareholding in the corporate entity, the other being held by Shah. Both yourself and Shah held an aggregate 20% shareholding on behalf of the Township Rollers Football Club (The society).
Clients further advise that they never authorized any change in the company shareholding,” Shah’s lawyer wrote.
There are some within the club who believe the issue is water under the bridge as the club braces itself to turn into a footballing company where Shah will call the shots without interference.
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 Franceâ€™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.