Tuesday, January 19, 2021

BPL feel the heat as teams threaten boycott over unpaid grants

Botswana Premier league (BPL) teams have threatened to boycott the league until their grants are paid and issues surrounding grants has been clarified. This was confirmed by the BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang who indicated that the issue of grants was a hot topic at the BPL board meeting which was held on Saturday to discuss the operations of the league.

Speaking to this publication, Ntshinogang said “Yes the BPL Board met on Saturday and the issue of grants was discussed with some clubs lamenting that grants are small and cannot survive on them. This may affect them with regards to completion of the league programme,” explained Ntshinogang.

Each team is supposed to be paid P35 000 on a monthly basis. The last time the BPL teams were paid grants was end of September. When the current BPL chairperson, Township Rollers President, Jagdish Shah was appointed the leader of the troubled BPL in March this year, he promised financial stability within three months and promised that the league will be better than previous seasons.

Shah’s promise to make the league self-sustainable was never realised and the premier league teams are pessimistic that the chairman will deliver on his promise. “We want to know where the money he promised is because the teams are still financially struggling despite him promising to have secured the money in three months,” said a source who opted for anonymity.

The BPL board also wants all the contracts (sponsors and service providers if any) with the league to be reviewed because they feel the league is not optimally benefiting from them. The board also resolved that the issue of autonomy be looked into to make it realistic.

On the prestigious Mascom Top 8 tournament the board resolved that there should be a draw for the quarter finals matches. The norm has it that team that has won the league plays position 8 in the log table, position two plays 7, position 3 plays position 6 and position 4 plays position 5.

“Yes the Board unanimously proposed that the current format should be changed. This proposal is however to be discussed with the Sponsor (Mascom) as partners, before we can say it has changed. Once we have finalised this matter with the Sponsor, we will let you know,” explained Ntshinogang.

The changes according to information reaching this publication are that they want to create excitement, enthusiasm and curiosity among football lovers. It will also help the sponsor to have more mileage for the tournament.  The BPL teams want the new changes to be implemented immediately.

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