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BY ANITA RANNOBA
Just a season after giving clubs the responsibility to do their own ticketing for matches, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) has taken back the ticketing responsibility.
This allegedly comes after the BPL Secretariat encountered some problems with how the clubs conducted their game ticketing.
Under the teams’ independent ticketing system, teams sourced and sold tickets for their own home Premier league matches and getting all the gate takings without sharing with the BPL or paying the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) for stadiums usage.
The new ticketing dispensation was adopted after some premier league teams had complained that the companies that were contracted to sell tickets failed to deliver.
With the self-regulation, teams were at liberty to find suppliers or companies from whom they could procure and sell tickets for their matches.
Making a case for the BPL office to assume the ticketing responsibility at the AGM, the league office said ‘there was a concern that clubs refuse to share information regarding the number of tickets that they have sold.’
In their presentation, the league office said this information ‘is quite important for the league as it is the information that is used when looking for sponsors.’
According to the BPL chairman Thabo "styles" Ntshinogang, said given the challenges they faced with the clubs, ‘members believed it would be better it the management of ticketing was done by the league.’
It is alleged that while some clubs did a great job, ‘some did not, especially when it came to producing tickets on time to be shared with sponsors and other stakeholders.’
With the BPL taking over the ticketing system, the league office will now be able to ensure all the data it needs ‘about the gate takings and match attendance’ is submitted.
The taking over of the ticketing system will however come at a price as ‘the BPL will be expected to charge a nominal fee for ticket production to the clubs’ while the clubs will ‘pay additional 5% of gate takings to the BPL.’
"Clubs will continue getting their share, what BPL will be doing will be managing the production and distribution of the tickets," Ntshinogang said.
Highlighting that the length of the BPL heading gate taking will depend on how long member clubs want this arrangement to go on.
As one the teams in the league, Boitumelo Nsunga of Gaborone United argued that this is a bad idea as they have benefitted a lot from gate taking. He added that this is one of the bad decisions the BPL is taking.
"At GU, we do not agree with this arrangement country have contracts with our players and have to pay them monthly. BPL does not pay our players nor does it give us money to run our teams so what they are planning to do is robbery and failure by BPL to run football in this country," he said.
The GU chairman said the BPL is creating all this mess because of the Chairman, who he said is a disgrace to Botswana football.
However, for Extension Gunners spokesperson Williougby Kemoeng, what BPL is doing was a good move, from which he believed his team will benefit well from.
"BPL is just saying let's be systematic with quality tickets at game ticketing. We are fine with this agreement and it is a great move," said Kemoeng.