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BPL rescues broke clubs

BPL rescues broke clubs
April 12
08:35 2018
  • BPL to foot stadium levy bill
  • Teams pocket full grants

SPORT REPORTER

Following the appointment of Jagdish Shah as Botswana Premier League (BPL) board chairman, the board of governors has immediately turned its attention to some of the policies and operational manuals that oversee its daily operations. This is being done with a view to generating as much income as it possibly can for premier league clubs.

It is indicated that many elite clubs are struggling to make ends meet, such that some of the clubs fail to pay for players’ welfare. Teams like Gilport Lions, Extension Gunners and Black Forest have been embroiled in contractual tussles with their players more than once this season, with salaries being the main cause.

Under the stewardship of businessman Shah, the board has extensively discussed issues that have wrong footed the league in the past.  Sources told this publication that the league is trying to make strides particularly on the stadium levy matter. As things stand, premier league teams are encouraged, through the club licensing requirement, to pay 25 percent of gate takings to the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) as a stadium levy.

Shah together with the board have unanimously agreed that the 25 percent levy is draining the teams which are already huffing and puffing to make ends meet and are instead proposing to pay a lump sum fee to the sports commission for the entire season. “The board is considering paying a lump sum figure to the sports body for the whole season and consequently doing away with the 25 percent paid by team,” he said at press gathering whose purpose was to reveal his  (Shah’s) modus operandi.

Sources maintain, albeit quietly, that the league board is suggesting paying between P1.2 and P1.5 million to the sports commission. Should both parties agree, with negotiations said to be at an advanced stage, premier league teams will for the first time recoup 100 percent gate takings to further improve players’ lives.

This, as Shah told the press, will effectively mean that the issue of ticketing becomes the sole responsibility of premier league teams and not the premier league board as has been the case. Teams will decide whether they go for E-ticketing or pre-printed tickets and also decide on the pricing. “We have agreed that the lowest price be P10 and it will be at the discretion of individual teams looking at the stature of the match to be played,” Shah said.

The negotiations, once agreed upon, will reverse and repeal, to a certain degree, BNSC’s recommendation for a total switch to e-ticketing. The commission advocated for the use of an e-ticketing system which would facilitate speedy reconciliation when payments are done.

 

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