The North West District Council (NWDC) has promised to come up with ways of rescuing the cash-strapped Sankuyo Bush Bucks.
The team is so far the only one in the district which managed to reach the Premier League level even though it has become apparent that this development had never worked for it. Instead, according to management, the team has never seen the light as a result of the not so pleasant operations whereby proper day to day running of the team are not followed, emerging unprofessional conduct issues and other setbacks, leading to it changing management from time to time and losing valuable players along the process.
Management has on several occasions also been blamed for misusing funds, something which has led to sponsors and would-be sponsors pulling out.
During his brief of the NWDC, the team’s chairperson Itumeleng Kelebetseng said they were in urgent need for financial assistance, taking into consideration that they only have a mere P522 in their club bank account.
He decried that the team had also lost valuable supporters, looking at the low attendance at their matches both locally and elsewhere. Currently, he said they struggled to even reach P20 000 on gate takings, something which has in the past been the least of their problems.
“Mind you, the sudden turn of events has led to us making less money in gate takings as compared to when the team was established. This is a very big blow for us, and so we need to be rescued from this predicament sooner than later.
“We are in dire need of money as we are unable to even feed or transport our players even locally. It is even worse when we play outside as we end up digging from our own pockets. A lot of people have abandoned us, and we are left with just a handful of volunteers to keep the team going,” he said.
Kelebetseng blamed the business community the most for not assisting, adding that the fact that they do not support the team, adding they needed to be mindful of the fact that the same team has in the past immensely contributed to the rapid growth of their businesses.
And now that they are not giving a helping hand, he said the player morale has immeasurably been lowered as they continue to lose players to big teams. The worst of their worries, he said, is that they have not been able to pay salaries; both to players and administration staff, and that arrears have accumulated to millions of pula.
“We are in serious debt as we speak. I want to plead to all of you here to help us get over this dilemma. Sponsors came and went, some without stating their reasons. You need to be reminded also that this is one of the regions which has great talent in sports particularly, and our aim is to nurture and not destroy it”, said Kelebetseng.
Furthermore he stated salaries alone amounted to P150 000, a further P348 000 for accommodation, P126 000 for transport elsewhere, P12 000 for transport locally and so forth. All in all, he said the total expenditure per season added up to P1.9 million.
Although most councillors accused management for not opening up and engaging them in the running of the team, they said it was good that they finally saw the need to seek assistance. Councillor Mpoke Karapo said it was regrettable nevertheless that a team that originated from a tourism hub should find itself in the current situation.
“We all know it is a private entity, but we need to really rally round them as long as all our doings are kept on record. Let us help them the same way we support other council projects. Alternatively we can even start by giving them the catering tender for all our council and sub council sittings. This might sound small, but I believe it will help them in many ways than one”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Council Chairman Latlhang Molonda promised that the issue will be further discussed in due time. He said there was need for them to call an all-party caucus to see how the council may help.