ECONET Premier League leaders, Bantu, were last Thursday asked by the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) to “show cause” why it cannot be charged for misconduct for contravening Section 50.6.11 of the Premier League and A Division rules and regulations.
This after the two parties clashed three weeks ago over a fundraising campaign that is being conducted by Bantu supporters to assist their players and staff during the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The campaign is being run on microblogging site Facebook.
The Mafeteng outfit, like the rest of local teams, have not made any income since mid-March 2020 when the league took a break in the wake of the pandemic. Teams normally generate income from gate takings at their games while some money comes from sponsors. However, no games have been played since mid-March, so teams have not made money and are struggling to pay players’ and staff salaries.
Bantu is one of the few clubs that have managed to pay their players and staff and it has only managed half salaries for April.
The club is asking its fans and well-wishers to donate by depositing fund to its PostBank account or send to its Ecocash or M-PESA accounts. The PLMC wrote to Bantu accusing the club of sabotaging its efforts to raise funds. Two weeks ago, the PLMC said Bantu must immediately stop the initiative as the committee was already running a similar programme for the entire footballing fraternity.
It was against this background that the PLMC asked Bantu why they can’t be charged for misconduct.
My take is that the PLMC could have handled this in a better manner.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone but for the past two months, the PLMC has literally done nothing to help local teams survive by either assist them pay their salaries and staff or anyhow.
The PLMC should have come up a plan to raise funds for clubs to survive the lockdown period when they are not making any revenue from gate takings and also their sponsors are facing critical financial challenges.
I also think the PLMC must stop micro-managing clubs. That the PLMC is running a similar fundraising campaign for the rest of the teams, could be commendable. However, the chances of the plan succeeding are very slim as fans are generally aligned to their own clubs and would be inclined to help their respective teams.
I wonder how the PLMC is hoping to convince the fans to support their cause instead of helping their chosen clubs. In fact, I the fans are already unhappy with the PLMC.
I have emphasised in my past columns the importance of the PLMC ensuring that it generates its own income. If the PLMC had some funds in its reserves, we wouldn’t be in this situation where they are fighting a team for trying to raising its own funds.