RFA’s should be at liberty to find their own sponsorship, finance some of their developmental programs and Cup Competitions.
Clubs must have means to survive the rigorous demands of modern football and be able to attract sponsorship on their own.
I now wish to draw parallels with our National First Division and Premier Leagues. The weakest point of these leagues is more often than not, the state of their affiliated clubs. A question that begs an answer must be asked; do all clubs in these structures merit to be members of these leagues? Dear delegates, until we get it right at club level, we would witness very little to no improvement at all in our football.
This is not a threat but a promise. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that the reason why our leagues are weak and not self-sufficient is simply because of the level of clubs that are affiliated to them. Please do not get me wrong, of course we have clubs that are trying to be well organized, but these are just too few and are not likely to make any meaningful impact.
The biggest problem we have in a majority of our clubs is the absence of solid structures. The National League must ready its members for transformation into corporate structures. Our clubs are either amateur or professional.
The recent unfortunate revelations from Club Licensing were a stark reminder of the true challenges that confront us in club football. Not until we all appreciate that the most important objective of Club Licensing is for the direct benefit of the clubs are we going to ever make headway in our elite football. Time is now that we have to bite the bullet; we must ensure that our clubs are properly structured so that investors and the clubs themselves are protected. We must create an environment where investors reap from their investments.
Dear delegate’s the last element that I would like to touch on is that of professionalization and Commercialization. In order that we do not become stuck records we need to address these matters with utmost honesty. There is a basic fundamental to this area of football. As long as we are not properly structured and are deficient in Good Governance transforming our clubs into professional entities will remain a pipe dream.
Our clubs will get sponsorship, but NOT which they deserve on account of not presenting themselves as properly structured and embracing Good Governance. For as long as our clubs are not professionally structured it will near be impossible to have a formidable league.
As a consequence, the league will be unable to put together a solid structure that could be packaged into a solid property that could attract sponsors far more easily than currently obtains.
For as long as our clubs do not embrace the need for Fan Development, they will never be able to exploit the contribution to marketing that the fans can contribute. In today’s world, sponsorship is strongly influenced by the clubs registered membership in good standing.
Sponsorship is now a numbers game.
We have to change the way we do things and be prepared to make informed choices in the best interest of the game in Botswana. If we choose to do nothing, then nothing will change.