Stop-start season disrupts rhythm

The start to the new season has been constantly disrupted. PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The start to the new season has been constantly disrupted. PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Clubs have been left disappointed as the stop-start season persists, with another unexpected break scheduled this weekend.

The league started late owing to sponsorship challenges and when it got underway, international dates have interrupted action.
A difficult season for most clubs, which face financial challenges, has got worse with the stop-start action.

Most of the clubs rely on gate takings, and inaction means no income.Teams have played only twice in October, due to a prolonged FIFA week, and then the general elections held on Wednesday. Gaborone United’s Nicholas Zakhem said the disruptions were affecting the running of the league.

“Very much (they affect the league). Players need competitive games week in and week out. They need to have their rhythm, which I have not seen since the start of the league. Too many interruptions,” he said. Notwane spokesperson, Orapeleng ‘Ace’ Mogomotsi said the side is equally affected.

“The stop does affect us, it kills the momentum. But what can we do, players have to go and exercise their right to vote,” Mogomotsi said. He said receiving grants still remains a challenge after the massive cut in sponsorship figures at the beginning of the season.

“Grants are still a challenge. It is either we receive less or nothing. The stop-start says something about our league. We are not yet there in terms of professional standards,” he said.

Title sponsor, BTC cut the season’s sponsorship deal from P13 million to just P5 million, after indicating it was unhappy with the returns.

BTC has pumped nearly P100 million into football since 2009, but is likely to be involved less, following the entity’s privatisation in 2016, meaning more emphasis on returns.

Barclays Bank partially plugged the gap, but there is still a shortfall of P4 million, meaning reduced prize money for the clubs at the end of the season.

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