BPL ponders commercialization models

Sports Reporter

Botswana Premier League (BPL) is considering endorsing the socio model for the local game as calls to draft a perfect model for commercialization heat up.

Although the deliberations being carried out carefully, lest the cat is let out of the bag, sources have told this paper that the majority of the board members are partial to the socio model. Initially, the lease model seemed to capture the minds of many, but reports are that they have since bethought themselves.

The socio is currently used in Spain where both Barcelona and Real Madrid have adopted it. It is believed with compliance and following the manual, the local teams could prosper to a point of self-sustainability.

The main objective of this system is to increase membership and sponsorship drive, as well as grow the success of the club to include other sporting codes. All the while the BFA’s input is still minimal as they are awaiting the league to present to them before they can suggest or recommend.

For now, BPL is looking at the “overwhelming” advantages that come with the socio model. “Most of our teams are still societies and this model is suitable for this transition as there is heavy involvement of supporters in club decisions through the motto, ‘Club First,’” a source has said.

On the other hand, it is noted that the model has one disadvantage because it could prevent teams from boosting their financial resources. “Equity cannot be sold and so we will have to come up with other strategies to pump money into our teams,” added the source.

In past media engagements, the chief executive of the BFA, Mfolo Mfolo, revealed that a task team had been tasked with looking at different models for premier league teams. “We will let you know at the best time,” he said when pressed for details.

While this model seems to have won the hearts of many, it is said the outright model is also considered once teams are settled in the socio model. Here teams will now be sold to investors just like companies. Easy ability to raise capital and commercial and financial realities of clubs are factors to consider while supporters will still have some involvement.

The professionalization gospel has been preached since 2008. Club licensing requirements seem to be finally winning the day for professionalization.