Bosso gate takings fall
By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Highlanders FC reduced its debt by a meagre $4 500 to around $790 000 last year.
According to a financial report presented by club treasurer Donald Ndebele at yesterday’s poorly attended annual general meeting held at the Clubhouse, Bosso reduced their debt from $797 768 to $793 215.
Only 129 members came for the AGM, although 90 members were present when the meeting kicked off.
In his report, Ndebele also revealed that Highlanders realised $120 476 from gate takings in 2016, which is $6 411 less than what they collected in 2015.
In his contribution after the presentation of the treasurer’s report, radio personality Ezra ‘Tshisa’ Sibanda took the club leadership to task for failing to deal with the debt which puts Highlanders’existence under threat.
“Every year we have people promising us that they will reduce the club’s debt, especially when there are elections, but every year again we are seized with the debt problem. What are you in the leadership doing to arrest this matter because at the moment we are surviving at the benevolence of creditors? One creditor can just approach the courts and have Highlanders declared insolvent and everything else will fall apart,” said Sibanda.
According to the treasurer’s report, Highlanders realised $20 185 in gate takings from hosting perennial rivals Dynamos in a league match, lower than the $25 965 they got from hosting the Harare giants in 2015.
The Dynamos revenue was the highest the team got from home games’ gate takings in 2016, followed by $17 904 from hosting FC Platinum, while their 3-0 victory over Hwange match realised just $2 010.
Bosso netted $108 872 in 2016 from all home gate takings despite the team playing some entertaining football under Dutch coach Erol Akbay.
Highlanders received $51 673 from SuperSport in television rights, up from $21 896 in 2015, while their principal sponsors BancABC gave them $375 877, a figure which has since been reduced to $200 000 in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders financial statement has for the third year running been declared ‘qualified’ by auditors PNA Chartered Accountants, but members still endorsed it.
“The football club does not have an effective accrual system to ensure the completeness of creditors. Highlanders also have no controls over income received from donations (outside office) and merchandise (consignment stock) therefore having an ineffective system to guarantee the completeness of revenue. The effect of the failure to determine completeness of creditors and revenues is that the creditors and revenue amounts are misstated to an extent we could not determine,” said the auditors in their statement.
In 2014, after another AGM where the auditors also qualified the Bosso accounts, an accounting expert, who asked not to be named for professional reasons, said branding of an organisation’s accounts as qualified should be disturbing to any finance person.
“No finance person or auditor would like to have qualified statements. In layman’s terms it means the statements would have been disqualified, not worthy. Failure to account for revenue has mainly been the major cause for accounts to be qualified, but various audit firms have their threshold of qualifying statements but the basis is that it’s usually huge sums of income,” said the expert. The Chronicle