A dark cloud is hovering over Matebele based Master Blackpool FC just ahead of the team’s maiden appearance in the second tier Debswana First Division South League (DFDSL).
The ambitious Kgatleng regional club’s turmoil has reportedly reached the local football mother body Botswana Football Association (BFA).
At the centre of the storm which has torn the team into two factions is the issue of the club ownership. The controversy has allegedly pitted the club investor Lame Makache against a section of the team’s supporters who laid claim to the team following its promotion to the first division league.
It is alleged the fight for the club ownership first came to the fore in January during the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM was convened in an attempt to help regularise the team to comply with club licensing as per requirements of playing in the second-tier league.
A can of worms was however opened when a resolution was passed by the AGM to dissolve the society team and form a company to accommodate club licensing measures.
While it was revealed to Sunday Standard that the company shares were open to all supporters, it was mandatory for all shareholders to contribute towards the team’s needs as and when necessary. The development however witnessed investor Makache acquiring 100 percent shareholding of the club. In the process of registering a company, a section of supporters challenged the matter leading to a stalemate between both parties.
Upon disagreements on the matter, it emerged that the team’s only asset being the goal posts nets were returned by Makache while the other faction believe they are the rightful owners of the status despite alleged absence from the team for years.
In an interview, Makache acknowledged that indeed they are at loggerheads with some members claiming ownership of the club. ‘’We took this team from its lowest a few years ago and turned it into a monster with the aim of promoting the side to the elite league. Since my arrival at the side as a player back in 2010 I had the best interest of the club at heart.
After retiring from active football I decided to pump in money into the club as you are aware of the P1.5 million sponsorship deal. Since the deal we had already spent P1.1 million and we were faced with a more taxing league in the first division. Shareholding of the company was open to anyone willing to spend in the club. We have now decided to give the community and players the club replicas and kits and move on with our first division status while Blackpool will get their division two status. It is really disheartening as majority of those demanding the club have been away for over 15 years,’’ narrated Makache.
Furthermore, Makache revealed that while the team had no ground and assets, he acquired piece of land where developments of building a mini stadium is ongoing. ‘’We had great plans for this team as developments of the team’s ground is ongoing but some people believe we should have fenced the borrowed school ground. In a space of three years, we had promoted the club from two league divisions with hope of changing livelihoods in the village but now it’s a different ball game,’’ said Makache.