Mmegi Blogs :: Whither Francistown football
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Sunday 09 December 2018, 22:38 pm.
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Whither Francistown football

The imminent relegation of former League Champions Ecco City Greens has put a dampener on the football season. The City of Francistown continues to shed Premier League teams and this is a major concern. What could be the problem with Francistown based teams? And what are we doing to remedy the situation?
By Thuso Palai Wed 06 May 2015, 14:10 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Whither Francistown football








As is always the case, we will exonerate ourselves, and we will point fingers elsewhere, forgetting that we are all to blame, especially those in the affected region. Before blaming someone else, all those in Francistown should introspect and look at their individual roles in this downward spiral of football in Francistown.

Over the past few years, the City of Francistown has lost the Premier League status of such teams as Great North Tigers, TAFIC and TASC. These are great footballing names, especially TAFIC, which for many years was the biggest and proudest team from the northern part of the country. Things have since changed and the teams from the North continue to struggle in the Premier League.

Former League Champions Ecco City Greens, who for some time were a force to reckon with in the Premier League,  seems to be suffering the same fate and I wonder if all these great teams from the North will ever reclaim their status in the elite league and be able to compete with their counterparts from the South.

Lack of sponsorships seems to be the major issue, but that cannot be looked into in isolation and should not be an excuse. Some teams in the Southern part of the country, survive year in year out, but they also have no sponsors. TASC, which is destined for the 2nd Division, started really struggling when Botswana Defence Force pulled back financial support. Ecco City Greens started struggling when BMC pulled back its support, and Tafic has never really had a settled sponsor other than bit – part sponsorships here and there. This is a contributing factor but one that can be countered. Others have done and continue to survive. There are many businesses and businessman based in Francistown. There are many businessmen from Francistown based in other parts of the country and if they had the interest of the football in their City, surely they would somehow support the teams financially. As much as we can blame other dynamics, financial support is key for survival.

The financial doldrums that the teams find

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themselves in cause have as ripple effect.   Due to the financial woes, the better players from the North trek to the South, weakening the teams from the North. This is also a major concern and if the teams in the North are not settled financially they will continue to lose players. We cannot stop players from trekking South if they get better packages. Surely if Francistown accountants can move for greener pastures in Gaborone, football players are also within their rights to do that if they get better deals from teams in the Southern part of the country. Currently, most of the better paying teams based in the Southern part of the country have a sizeable number of players signed from teams in the North, and chances are that more and more will move. And believe you me; we have a lot of good players from the Northern part of the country doing wonders in the elite League.

The issue of mismanagement has also been a major concern. The endless internal wrangling in some of the teams do not help the situation, as the little available resources are misused. That cannot be blamed on someone else but the teams themselves, but chances are that they will look overlook that and to lay the blame elsewhere

But what could be the solution? Could some of the teams merge like those ones in Jwaneng and Orapa that gave birth to Orapa United and FC Galaxy, so that the little available resources are channelled into one strong unit. Well, I don’t subscribe to that school of thought as I feel all these clubs have a strong history that they cannot just throw away because of mismanagement within.

That being the case, I have no magic wand and don’t have solutions for the current situation, but all I can ask for is deep introspection. The various stakeholders, not only football community, especially those in Francistown have to look at themselves and what they can do to reverse the trend. Playing the blame game won’t improve Francistown City team’s fortunes.

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