Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Kereng’s short-lived Rollers sponsorship dries up

Six months into his ten-year agreement with Township Rollers, investor Jimmy Kereng is allegedly ready to relinquish the reins.

The relatively new Rollers financier is alleged to have confessed to his executive committee that it is financially difficult to support the team.

Kereng has allegedly told the executive committee that he is financially overburdened and experiencing cash flow challenges.

According to sources, the team now has to go on an expedition to find a long-lasting solution to its financial needs. The main priority is to look for investor(s) who can inject cash and turn the fortunes of the team around.

Sunday Standard Sport got it from authority that the transition of looking for a new investor must be professionally managed to avoid tarnishing the image of the team and individuals.

“We must appreciate that Kereng paid for the training ground, bought players and helped the team to comply with club licensing requirements,” said the source. “The club is also using his vehicles to run its operations.”

When taking over as the team financier, Kereng vowed to bring the glory days back at Rollers. He may have however underestimated the task. As things stand, prospects of him lasting in the team are slim according to sources.

By December 08th this past Friday, Rollers players and staff were yet to receive their November wages. This has forced the players to go on a two-day boycott of training in an effort to force the management to pay them.

During a meeting with players on Thursday, it was agreed that the players will be paid next week. Players are said to have informed the management that they have commitments that need money and thus need to be paid on time every month. It was agreed that players will be assisted with transport and rentals.

Of concern however is that late payments are threatening to become a norm at Rollers. “Last month the players were paid late. This was after Kereng told the executive committee very late that he is experiencing cash flow problems,” the source explained.

“He promised that it will be the last incident and going forward he will pay well on time but if he experienced any challenges he will communicate on time,” said the source. The latest episode has now left Rollers on the edge. They only have a few days left before the 20th December arrives, a day when they have to be paid their salaries.

“He has been making promises to the players and never honoured them. He promised winning bonuses but never paid them.  There is a lot of anger towards him,” said the source who preferred not to be named.

Approached for comment on whether they are happy with their investor, club chairman, Bafana Pheto could not give a direct answer. “We will sit with him in a meeting and discuss,” he said.

The Rollers chairman could also not state whether they will be looking for potential investors/partners. Pheto could only say that “the outcome of the meeting will guide us on the way forward”.

Pheto admitted there are delays in paying players but said the issue is not new to Popa even though they don’t want it. “Teams are financially challenged and it is not only Rollers that did not pay players. Others did not pay like us,” he observed.

Popa Popa is currently in negotiations with Stanbic Bank for financial expectation support of about P1.5 million. While the management is running around to normalise the situation, mutiny is said to be in the offing.

Sources allege that players want Shah back at the team. They reason that during his time at the helm, there has never been issues with payments.

They further suggest that, “Jagdish can be approached but there is no how he is going to work with the current committee. They too cannot swallow their pride and beg Shah to return. The team needs Shah to bring stability and guide the team to winning ways,” they opined. Rollers is facing city arch rivals Gaborone United on Wednesday at the national stadium.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper