Tuesday, December 6, 2022

What stumbling block stands in way professionalism?

Professionalising football seems to be something that will take a long way to achieve in Botswana.

The turning of teams into professional outfits is something that has been something preached over the years and those teams that should be seen as exemplary in the Premier League appear to be miles behind.

Those teams are the largely followed ones and comprise the likes of Township Rollers, Extension Gunners and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

These teams are still run like societies, something seen as impeding football growth in the country.

If teams are run like societies where, in most cases, there is no accountability, sponsors can easily be scared away.

Looking at the amount of support some teams have in the country, sponsorships should not be a problem yet a majority of teams in the Premier League do not have any sponsors.

In other countries, almost all popular teams have major sponsorships that give considerable amount of money.

Here, most teams also do not have proper training facilities as they use dusty grounds for training purposes only to play on turf during official matches.

Some of such teams do not even have offices to operate from but are run from boots of their cars.
Only a few teams, like Gaborone united and, to a lesser extent, Notwane, have shown progress in turning professional.

Gaborone United is the most professionally run club with a full time secretariat while others fall far too short.

Notwane, on the other hand, have done some underground work and it looks like it is a matter of time before they are also a professionally run club just like Gaborone United.

Football official, Fobby Radipotsane, pointed his finger at the Premier League saying they are the ones who should spearhead everything. Radipotsane said, in the past, there has been a lot of talk and agreements, which are now gaining dust in the offices.

“I think the main problem is the operational structures of the teams which should lead them to professionalism. The Premier League should appoint a task force that would be given terms of reference for about three months. The task force would come up with the report of which all the Premier League clubs would have to abide by. The task force can even go to the extent of going on a fact finding mission in neighbouring South Africa to see how their clubs are run,” he said.

Radipotsane gave an example of Gaborone United that prefers to sell their tickets at their offices for accountability purposes while other clubs prefer to selling them during matches.

Radipotsane added that incidents whereby some teams like GNT, Wonder Sporting, Tasc continue using Police and army resources is something that compromises the route to professionalism.

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