Thursday, October 28, 2021

Business as usual won’t cut it after SA trip – BPL CEO

Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Ntshinogang says there is a lot that the BPL needs to do if they are to emulate their Premier Soccer League (PSL) counterparts in the neighbouring South Africa.

Fresh from a benchmarking visit from the PSL together with the BPL Board, Ntshinogang said BPL will need to get its act together to build their product.

Giving feedback of their PSL benchmarking sojourn with the media, the BPL CEO said the first thing they picked from PSL which lacks at BPL was the PSL’s obvious efficiency and attention to detail.

“As soon we arrived at their offices we found heads of departments waiting for us, ready to kick start the most informative presentations we ever came across. Our delegation’s objective was to learn things that we know BPL struggles with,” he said.

“Among other, the BPL struggles with issues of Human Resources, finance, competitions, legal issues, commercial issues, stakeholder relations and marketing,” he explained.

Ntshinogang said fortunately, the PSL revealed a lot of branding and marketing tricks. “At the top of that slide was media relations and broadcast followed by the rest of the issues on our priority list,” he said.

“To our delight PSL revered Tsotso Ngele as one of their best products. He was showcased taking selfies with some of his team mates at Super Sport United. This can only mean that Botswana has amazing players and the potential to produce even more. PSL clearly appreciates the contribution Batswana players continue to add to their empire. BPL just needs to get its act together,” he said.

Ntshinogang said PSL is a success because they have their structure in check. “At the apex of their structure is the Board of Governors. And then they have an Executive Committee which we don’t have at BPL. Their ExCo is made of legendary football administrators like Kaizer Motaung, Ivan Khoza and Manto Madlala to mention but a few,” he said.

The BPL delegation was impressed with the incredible synergy between the Exco and the board at PSL. Ntshinogang said it is the PSL Exco that takes care of the strategy of the league, something that does not happen at BPL.

“Instead of a proper ExCo we have a makeshift premier league development committee that is very incompetent,” he lamented.

He said in Botswana there are even ticketing issues from the printing to the disappearance of gate takings.

“At PSL they are very transparent about their financials. Their 2017 financial report is already in the public domain; BPL is still struggling to release the 2016 financial report.  That is why sponsors have left,” he said adding that, “it is even sadder that our players and match officials are not covered by insurance should an injury or death happen.”

While the BPL is yet to come up with a clear way forward post their benchmarking exercise, Ntshinogang was hopeful they will eventually come up with an implementation strategy to steer the game in the right direction, be it in the long or short term.

He however said it may be a while before things turnaround if they ever do.

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