Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti has blasted Premier League clubs for failure to catch the pace of professionalism.
Speaking at the BFA general assembly on Saturday, Letshwiti said the Premier League clubs lagged behind and urged them to change and embrace corporate governance.
“Premier League, you are the weakest link in the association. You have to change. There is no other way. You have to do things the way they are supposed to be done professionally,” he said.
He said corporate governance was key and that once it was adopted, sponsors would come on board.
“If you do things the way Barclays and other companies do things, they would give you money,” he said.
Barclays Bank have agreed with the association to sponsor the league to the tune of P4.5 million in the coming season after the main sponsor, BTC reduced its sponsorship.
Letshwiti said despite many reasons advanced regarding the reduction of BTC sponsorship, the company did not get return on investment by sponsoring the league. “The reality is that they did not get the returns,” he said.
He also warned Premier League clubs that the association would have to impose club licensing. “Unfortunately we will have to adopt club licensing so that we become professional. We are going to exercise our rights as the BFA to impose the licence. We kept postponing this but now it has to be done,” he said.
On the contrary, Notwane president, Tebogo Sebego said the BFA should tread carefully when it implements club licensing. He said Premier League clubs had to part with some of their money so that the league can run. He cited the issue of clubs not receiving their grants, which had to be channeled elsewhere so that the league could run.
“We have to read carefully on this issue because in as far as we want to do things professionally, we have to understand that Premier League clubs faced some challenges,” he said.
Sebego also they were not happy with what he called interference by the mother body in the Botswana Premier League (BPL) matters.
“Let the BPL board run the affairs of the Premier League,” he said.
The BFA had to intervene towards the end of last season following an issue in which some fixtures were changed, sparking confusion and finger pointing.
One of the fixtures that involved Miscellaneous and Township Rollers ended being replayed after Miscellaneous failed to make it to the match.
Their reason was that they received communication about the change of fixtures late. In the initial fixtures, Miscellaneous were scheduled to host Notwane in Serowe.
Following the confusion, the BFA set up a commission to investigate the cause. The commission later recommended that the match between Rollers and Miscellaneous be re-fixtured.