The Francistown-based side, Tafic, have seen attempts to secure a sponsorship deal draw a blank. This is despite that the team is in the surroundings of a cooperate community that includes mines, Tati Nickel and Mupane Goldmines.
Tafic’s Public Relations Officer, Jones Mosweu, said that they have made countless overtures to the two companies with each one of them saying their focus is rather on HIV AIDS projects.
Mosweu also revealed that they courted one of the oldest Real Estate companies in Francistown with some optimism. The multi-million pula company owns almost every tall building on Blue Jacket street, including the Barclays Plaza, John Nswazi Mall and a lot of land alongside Haskins company in the country’s oldest town. The company had, as prerequisite, demanded the club’s constitution, their club certificate and financial statements which they submitted but were shell-shocked when the reply came.
Mosweu also refuted allegations that the team, at some point, turned down a proposal by a consortium that wanted to buy the team to the tune of a P1 million. The rumour that was doing the rounds was that the team’s management turned down the offer on the basis that Tafic is a community team.
“That is news to me; there was never such an offer. In fact, we will gladly welcome anyone who would come up with such an offer,” said Mosweu.
About the kit that bore a Haskins brand, Mosweu said it was merely a donation from the company not a sponsorship.
Another challenge they face in securing sponsorship is that most companies they have approached have their headquarters in Gaborone and, as such, they give precedence to southern teams.
Due to a lack of funds, Tafic faced the prospect of losing some of their key players during the past transfer window. At that time, the team owed its players two months salaries but somehow managed to retain most of them, thanks to their players’ loyalty. The team lost influential Zimbabwean international Zizanobohle Dube and talented Somali-born midfielder-cum striker, Mahomed Chawila, to BMC and Township Rollers, respectively. The situation is not helped by the fact that the official price tag for a player is a silly P3 000.
This has seen some teams reap where they did not sow as they dangle a manipulative hefty signing-on-fee which a player would be at pains to turn down.
Though they won’t admit it, Tafic’s fan base has been dwindling in recent years. This also means that they are not getting as much as they would normally get from gate takings. In it’s hey days ,Machimenyenga used to command a huge following; almost every Kalanga has a soft spot for the club. A typical day when Tafic was playing would easily be noticed by the city dressed in red, and by the absence of taxis at the Francistown taxi rank, with all the taxi men having gone to the stadium.
Mosweu said that the fan base is still as big and promised that come January when Tafic will be doing well, their fans will be back in their numbers.
In a desperate move, Tafic have also taken to lobbying for funds from their supporters under Operation “u ndipe di kupe”, borrowed from the teams slogan, which, in context, means “let’s share” but which is used to describe their carpet football trademark.