Gilport Lions investor and owner Kelesitse Gilika is a worried man, and rightly so.
Three seasons after his acquisition of BMC FC, Gilika is now losing his prized possession.
In a dramatic week Gilika seems more likely destined to revert to the team’s original name of BMC FC.
This comes after a group of disgruntled BMC FC wrote to him “demanding that parties involved in the selling and renaming of the club restore forthwith BMC FC to its social club and affiliation status in the BFA and elite league”.
While losing his club hurts, for Gilika, who, together with Nicholas Zachem were the investors at Gilport, the worry is that the constant bickering over ownership is likely to keep potential investors away from football.
“Some people within our local clubs have a tendency to scare away investors with unnecessary sport politics. Look I am a football investor and these kind of politics in our football disturbs me. We need to move forward and improve the standard of football but some people have other thoughts. These kind of politics nearly tore apart Township Rollers and it haunted Gaborone United so those who love football must understand that investors don’t want to be involved in football politics,” Gilika explained.
“As investors in the game it brings the questions of worthiness investing in the local game due to cases that affect relationship with sponsors and potential investors,” said Gilika.
The same sentiments were shared by football analyst Monty Gagomokgwa who said the latest development was a step back in the push to get investors involved in the game.
“This is bad for our football. These people invested a lot of monies in the team over the past couple of years and it is sad for them to lose their investments like this,” Gagomokgwa said.
Concerning the sale of the club, which is the main contention in the matter as it is deemed unlawful, Gilika said believed that everything was done properly.
However, this is disputed by the aggrieved members of BMC FC, who are arguing that it was not sold legally.
“Gilport affiliated and assumed the status of BMC FC in the Botswana Football Association structures on the understanding, but mistaken belief, that the football club was lawfully sold and/or alienated either by BMC or the social club to Mr Ensfandier Ghodrati, such affiliation is wrongful, is of no force and effect and accordingly ought to be set aside,” reads their statement.
“The transfer, sale, alienation and change of name of BMC FC was wrongful and illegal, was not sanctioned by the relevant office, was against the Societies Act and importantly infringed with provisions and spirit of social club constitution,” reads the letter.