When Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) chief executive officer (CEO) Thapelo Tsheole took over at Mochudi Centre Chiefs, the club was in a dire situation.
Magosi was a ticking time bomb. The team had just relegated. Incessant power tags were the order of the day. If not attended to, the team’s existence was in jeopardy.
Added to this, the club was facing insurmountable debts. At the other extreme, some members owned the team assets, while others owned the brand name.
A year on, the team is in a better position, though some of the problems are yet to be solved.
Now, there is uncertainty as to whether the man behind the recent stability will stay there for a little while longer.
If he leaves, there are fears that the Kgatleng side will revert back to its feudal system.
Luckily for Magosi, it seems Tsheole is open to persuasion and may just extend his stay with the Kgatleng outfit.
“My plan was to stay for only a year but I guess am going to stay one more year in order to continue with this little achievement of privatizing and commercializing Magosi or get an investor,” he says.
“But truth is I had no intentions of going beyond one year because this to me is giving back to the community,” Tsheole explains.
For Tsheole, his intention when taking over was ‘to give back to the community he had grown within’ by offering ‘leadership, business acumen, strategy development and also sustainability to Magosi.
Landing in on the committee of Magosi, he stated that they were faced with a lot of challenges due to things not ran in a proper manner and measures needed to be put in place.
“We started with the compliance of register of societies, we needed to bring the team to comply first because it was not complying. We also want to convert Magosi from a society to a company; March this year we complied with register of societies now the next step is to make the club more commercial sense,” Tsheole added.
However, the business sense of the team is underway as they have just lunched a sport shop and produce place for all commodities. According to Tsheole’s analysis, what the club has put in place so far will help revamp the club financially and bring in income and growth.
“The club was engulfed by a lot of debts when I stepped in, some of which they did not know of or how much they owe in total,” he explained.
“We firstly established the quantum of the debt including of coaches. We then put all of them together to see how much debt the team was sinking in,” he said.
Trying to clear some of these humongous debts while also running the team is however no small task.
“We are trying to run the club also paying debts and also pay the current players, and this is a tricky situation. And since the club has relegated from Premier league to First Division it means the income is small,” he says.
“The painful part is running this big club in first division. Somehow, it seems like Magosi is three times more expensive to run than all other clubs in first division,” Tsheole explains.
As it stands, the club is also facing a fight of true ownership and its asset distribution among the community of Kgatleng.
“We are trying to identify the true owners of the club assets. Some of them we have negotiated with and others we have reached a deadlock. And now we need to take some form of action because we cannot negotiate forever concerning the club,” Tsheole said expressing some sort of worry.
Among these have been the Kgatleng side’s field as well as the ownership of the name, which belong to different individuals.
The Magosi chairperson pointed out that it seems the fight of ownership has been happening for so long. It is only now that they are trying to sort the matter out.
“we are not trying to fight with people but they need to be reasonable because these assets belong to the society not individuals.
In the midst of all these, what brings Tsheole a little joy at the present moment is that Magosi is united again. He says even the supporters are fully behind them
“We have pushed stability to a certain level and remember am doing this as help and I do not think I have a long-term interest in football but I have a long term interest in contributing to the community that I grow in. if the club can have people with the right set of mind and drive to run it, I will hand over to them,” he concludes.