BTC Premiership giants, Gaborone United (GU) players are owed two-months’ salaries as the club continues to battle financial constraints. The ‘Money Machine’, as the club is affectionately called, have struggled since the departure of financier, Nicholas Zakhem two seasons back.
Zakhem, together with mobile company, Mobicel gave the club P2 million in a one-year deal that elapsed last season. Moyagoleele were one of the big spenders in the winter transfer window as they splashed P130,000 on attacking midfielder, Thatayaone Kgamanyane from Black Forest.
The team also brought in former midfielder, Dirang Moloi, and Arnold Mampori and Namibian defender, Kennedy Amutenya who are said to have been paid mouthwatering signing on fees.
Speaking to Mmegi Sport yesterday, GU secretary general, Gofhamodimo ‘City’ Senne admitted the club is going through a rough patch, two months into the new season, but said the executive committee is in talks with a potential sponsor. “Like any other team in the country, we do not have the financial muscle. We rely on gate takings and grants from the BPL (Botswana Premier League).
We are two months behind schedule in the players’ payments. We have made an agreement with them regarding their payments. They fully understand and they have been cooperative.
You should know that the most important thing right now is the players’ (welfare),” he said.
Senne quashed reports that the team’s head coach, Rodolfo Zapata has been kicked out of his rented house located in Block 10. He said the house was occupied when
“He (Zapata) went for the holidays in his homeland, Argentina and when we came back the landlord where he stayed had already rented the house (out) to someone else. We decided against paying rent while the coach was away. It would have been a waste of money, but Zapata now stays at Oasis Motel until we find him another house,” he said.
Due to the financial constraints, Senne said they had to postpone the ordinary general meeting that was scheduled for September 23 and other activities that include the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
However, the Reds are said to be close to concluding a deal with an international sport brand that would come in to replace the 67 brand that had been with the club since 2009.
Though Senne was coy with the details, the brand is said to be Italian sportswear manufacturer, Diadora.
“We are about to close a deal with a company that would come in as our technical sponsor. I would not reveal the name of the company as we are yet to agree, but we would unveil soon.”