Gaborone United is almost in its third year since turning into an almost professionally run club.
Almost everything at the club is done professionally and even transparently. At other teams, it is the opposite and by the look of things, most teams in Botswana, especially the so-called big ones, will take time to be professional. The way things are done leaves a lot to be desired but it does not appear as if this bothers them.
Fighting for power seems to be the order of the day at other teams. Some executive committees do not even last months as others are always fighting on the side lines to overthrow them once they get elected into office.
Basic things like regular general meetings and audited financial results are things that are never done and it’s like stirring hornets’ nest.
Teams that come to mind that are expected to lead by example are Township Rollers, Extension Gunners and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
This is because they have massive followings.
Even when they play, the place is brought to a standstill and tickets are normally sold out before the match starts.
But the teams appear to be doing things in a manner done by teams that don’t have as much support as they do.
One prominent soccer official, who preferred anonymity, attributed power hungriness and greed to teams’ reluctance to change.
“Let’s be honest, if we continue to have the same management we find in some teams our football will not go anywhere. Look at other countries like South Africa and Europe, the football field has changed drastically and we have to follow suit. Some teams in South Africa used to be run like societies like our teams but realised that it was not working for them. Even top club owners in South Africa, like Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motaung have time and again advised local clubs to change, but that is falling on deaf ears. They only want situations whereby they exploit the teams for their own benefits,” he said.
The official also added that companies would not even come on board if teams do not change. He said companies want accountability.
“No company will pour money into something if there is no transparency on how their money is going to be spent. Honestly speaking, we have so many companies that are willing to bankroll football but the current system in place is pushing them back. Teams like Rollers, Gunners and Centre Chiefs should have many companies knocking on their doors because companies’ brands can easily be marketed,” he said.
On the other hand, the spokesperson for Gaborone United (GU), Gofhamodimo ‘City’ Senne, told Sunday Standard that privatization of teams is not an easy thing but possible. He said they managed to achieve that goal at GU because many people at the team had a common goal and cooperated.
“It was not easy but we managed to achieve it. It is all about how people work together for a common goal. Also people need to be taught that nowadays, teams are owned by individuals and not everybody can. Others can be stakeholders in the team and eventually might even purchase shares,” he said.
Senne said it is his wish to see local teams pulling in the same direction for a common goal because that would benefit football in general.