Amidst the tumults and turmoil engulfing Botswana Football Association (BFA), a ray of light is emerging.
This week, the BFA together with UEFA and Botswana Football League (BFL) are hosting a workshop for elite league clubs.
The five-day workshop which is hosted at Masa Hotel started this past Monday and is expected to conclude on Friday. The workshop is facilitated by a panel of four delegates from UEFA and is funded under the UEFA Assist programme.
UEFA Assist was launched in 2017 by UEFA to share its expertise and knowledge with other continental football bodies. In Botswana, UEFA Assist has undertaken to help with the transformation of the BFL and the elite league football clubs.
Led by well-respected local football administrator Bennett Mamelodi, the five phased UEFA Assist funded project started this past year. As the project manager, Mamelodi’s main responsibility is to oversee the implementation of the 12 fields of action needed to transform elite football.
Some of the 12 fields of action are new governance and business model, corporate identity, communication strategy, marketing strategy, broadcast rights, sponsorships, women football and corporate social responsibility, just to name a few.
The programme is now on its fourth phase, which involves workshops for the stakeholders. Phase one and two of the programme involved conducting a survey among stakeholders analysing of data and statutory documents from the BFA and BFL by the UEFA experts. The third phase was a fact-finding virtual consultation with all stakeholder to establish the prevailing circumstances in Botswana football.
Speaking on the side lines of the workshop, project manager Bennett Mamelodi said the ongoing workshop is one step in the collective walk towards transforming elite football.
During the first day of the seminar, attendees looked into a variety of issues of governance, operations and club business. Some of the issues discussed included club ownership and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Other discussed included skills needed to run clubs successfully at board level, understanding board composition and roles as well as communication planning.
The next four days will see attendees workshopped on issues of technical development, financial management, club brand and fan communications, matchday operations and venue management as well as operational planning.
Commenting on the ongoing process, BFA President Maclean Letshwiti emphasised that it is imperative for local football to transition and commercialise. The BFA president said local football has for a long time put off the commercialisation of football and this cannot continue.
He advised clubs that if they really want to have a professional BFL, they need to do their bit as shareholders. Letshwiti said a company is only as strong as its shareholders, hence the need for elite clubs to professionalise.
The BFA president informed the clubs that while at the workshop, they will be given ideas of how they can transform. He however said they must not copy everything as given but should adapt it to their own circumstances.