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GU, Zakhem in advanced talks

MQONDISI DUBE
Zakhem
Gaborone United (GU) and former financier, Nicholas Zakhem are in advanced talks to have the business mogul back on board as a sponsor.

GU has fallen on hard times, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, with the club in negotiations with three potential sponsors, including Zakhem.

GU secretary general, Dr Kennedy Ramojela said the club’s committee of elders, held a meeting with Zakhem on Wednesday night to discuss a possible deal.

Although Ramojela said he did not have immediate details of the outcome of the meeting, he revealed they had tasked the elders to engage Zakhem, who has been the saviour of the club in the past, before it plunged into a financial crisis. Zakhem still houses some of the club’s players, despite his departure as a key financier two seasons ago.

“They spoke to him last night (Wednesday) to assist as a sponsor and not investor.

The (financial) challenges that we have do not need an investor, that takes time and will mean we have to amend our constitution,” he said.

He said the club’s debts amount to P2million, which includes nearly P500, 000 to be paid to former Ghanaian player, Appiah Bismack who took the ‘Money Machine’ to FIFA

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over a contract breach.

Even if the club strikes a deal with Zakhem, the door still remains wide open for two other unnamed potential sponsors. “At the moment, I cannot mention them since we are still in discussions,” he said. Zakhem confirmed he had held talks with the club and is expected to put forward his proposal soon.

“We held discussions, which will be followed up with a written proposal from myself to the club’s committee for consideration,” Zakhem said. He expects the issue to be finalised in the next few days, with the club’s faithful, hopeful that the first rays of the sun are out after a lengthy, dark cloud cover.

Meanwhile, Ramojela said the club is confident of raising the money required by Appiah before he August 26 deadline.

The cash strapped GU was ordered to pay the player $39,500 plus other legal costs, within 30days. “We are talking to other elders to help and we are hopeful that we will meet the deadline, or at lease raise something to convince the player’s lawyer,” he said.



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