The Botswana Premier League (BPL) is on a drive to professionalism, but the livelihoods of its employees are allegedly hanging by a thread.
According to a source within the Lekidi, the BPL is on the verge of retrenching staff at its secretariat office.
Sunday Standard sport has it on good authority that the retrenchments are guided by the perceived professionalization drive to turn the fortunes of the league around.
The league recently appointed a four-man committee to spearhead its professionalization and to come up with ways of turning the fortunes of the league around.
Led by Jagdish Shah of Township Rollers, the team also comprised of Gaborone United (GU) investor Nicolas Zakhem, Gilport Lions owner Kelesitse Gilika and Prisons XI chairperson Anthony Mokento.
The committee was tasked with forming a company that is to run the BPL. They have since registered it, Botswana National League. The shareholders of the company are all the premier league teams.
As part of the process, it is said the BPL will undertake a restructuring process as it seeks to rope in skilled staff to drive the professionalisation processes.
“The committee that has been set up to look into how the league can be profitable and self sustainable is strongly advocating for an overhaul of the league secretariat,” the source says.
As part of the process, the source says there is a recommendation for the BPL to lay off some staff members and replace them with ‘energetic business persons.’
“The committee leading the professionalisation drive is ready to bring in its own people who will be aligned to the philosophy of the newly formed Botswana National League,” says the source.
Once the process resumes, the source says the overhaul and restructuring exercise will be expected to be completed within a two month time period.
Though the committee has made up its mind to retrench some of the staff, premier league board chairperson is not aware of the drastic decision to be taken.
Reached for comment the BFA CEO, Mfolo Mfolo denied any knowledge of the pending retrenchments.
“I am not aware of that. The league is in transitional period, we want it to separate from the BFA and run as an independent legal entity,” explained Mfolo.
He said they expect the league to be independent when the new season starts sometime next year.
In preparation for professionalisation and autonomy of the elite league, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has over the past month or two been busy teaching teams about professionalism.