By Godknows Matarutse
Zimbabwe’s three football giants Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United should run their affairs in a transparent and professional manner to unlock their full potential according to their new sponsor, NetOne.
The government-owned mobile telephone services provider came to the rescue of the three clubs by unveiling a sponsorship package worth over $1 million for the upcoming 2018 Castle Lager Premiership which starts on March 10.
Each team received $350 000 which will go towards paying salaries for the players and technical staff as well as signing-on fees for new acquisitions.
The sponsorship agreement also comes with a kit and apparel deal which will see the three clubs now wearing jerseys manufactured by local sportswear firm, Roar.
Despite being the traditional giants of local football, the trio have often been in the press for wrong reasons.
This week alone, both Dynamos and CAPS players were refusing to train unless they were paid their outstanding dues.
Last season, former Bosso coach Erol Akbay together with the players went on strike during the season as they demanded their salaries and winning bonuses.
With this in mind, NetOne are fully aware they have partnered with clubs that have the potential to be volatile at the turn of a switch but are hoping to instil structures and good corporate governance in them.
Speaking at the sponsorship unveiling ceremony on Wednesday night in the capital, NetOne acting-chief operating officer Clever Isaya made it clear that transparency from the three clubs will determine the length of the partnership.
“We have specifically chose football because it is the sport for the people,” Isaya said. “We have decided to start with the three clubs — Highlanders, Dynamos and CAPS United — but we are looking to go beyond those three.
“But the challenge that we are posing to these three clubs is that they will determine how this partnership will unroll going forward.
“Why we are saying this is because football has become big business anywhere else you go. Look at Manchester, Arsenal, Juventus and some of the biggest clubs in the world, if you look at the revenues they generate I am sure you will realise that there is a lot of money that can be raised in football.
“So what we are saying as NetOne is that we want to start this journey with these three clubs, our idea is to say to the clubs let’s work together, let’s bring structures, let’s bring accountability which should be able to attract other investors to come into football.”
Isaya added: “If you can see from the current issues that there is a lot of talk surrounding investment in mining, agriculture and financial sector.
“But we are saying there is also an opportunity for sport to attract investors and as NetOne we have deliberately taken a leading role in setting the pace.
“This partnership is a dual responsibility between ourselves and the football clubs. They have their part to play to make this partnership successful. So as NetOne we are going to provide platforms to make this possible.“ DailyNews