By Tadious Manyepo
CAPS United vice president Nhamo Tutisani has allayed fears the Green Machine are on the verge of collapse amid a mass exodus of players.
Instead, the Harare businessman, claims, the movement is part of the Green Machine’s commercialisation drive.
Makepekepe embarked on a massive recruitment drive early last year in preparation for the aborted 2020 Premiership season.
Their roster ended up having more than the PSL cap of 30 players, with coach Darlington Dodo forced to loan out some of his players.
And, after 2020 in which they lost their principal sponsors NetOne, due to Covid-19, the Green Machine have been losing their players to their local rivals, including Dynamos and FC Platinum.
Former Chicken Inn midfielder Innocent Mucheneka, one of the few players to sign a short-term contract with Makepekepe at the start of 2020, hasn’t renewed his stay at the club.
He has since joined FC Platinum, without even kicking a ball in CAPS United’s colours.
A veteran of their 2019 campaign, in which CAPS United failed to land the league title on the last day of the 2019 season, Newman Sianchali has also not prolonged his flirtation with Dodo’s team beyond December 31, 2020.
He has become the latest high-profile player from Makepekepe to join city rivals Dynamos.
Ex-FC Platinum goalkeeper, Wallace Magalane, could as well trace his footsteps back to Zvishavane, following keen interest from the champions.
The Green Machine could lose at least nine more players this period alone.
But, Tutisani said it was his club which will benefit from the transfers, as their commercial thrust starts to take shape.
“I have always said that we are now taking a commercial approach in the running of our club,” said Tutisani.
“We signed a number of players last year and we have more than 30 players on our books at the moment.
“We made sure most of the guys we signed last year penned deals for, at least, two years.
“We have invested in these players and part of running our club, as a business, is obviously, by selling some of them and realise a profit.
“I can confirm at the moment that Mucheneka (Innocent) signed just a year’s contract with us and the deal lapsed in December last year.’’
The Harare businessman said Sianchali’s deal at the club had also elapsed and he left as a free agent.
“He was no longer our player so was Sianchali (Newman). We have so much mutual respect for Sianchali and we wish him all the best,’’ said Tutisani.
“As of Magalane (Wallace), he is still our player. FC Platinum have expressed their desire to buy him back.
“But, all that depends with their offer. We are in football business and if we are to sell a player, it should always make some business sense to us.
“We have invested a lot in our players and, when they are sold, the club should always benefit.
“So, about Magalane, the negotiations are ongoing and we will see what comes out of them.”
Tutisani said the Green Machine were opening up regional and international markets where they intend to sell their players.
“Players are the biggest products in our line of business. Our target market is regional and international,’’ he said.
‘’Of course, here and there, we can sell locally, provided it makes some business sense, but we are mostly looking at regional and international markets.
“At any given time we would be having more than 30 players in the pool. We also have some junior teams.
“We do all this with the knowledge that players are the biggest products we manufacture in football business.
“If one looks at the average age of our players then you will get what I am trying to say.”
He said while the club will keep on selling players, they will also be investing in other talented players to balance the competitive equation.
“We are not saying we will neglect the competitive aspect of football because we are now taking a commercial approach in the running of our team,’’ he said.
“We will make sure that while we do business we are also able to compete.
“So, at face value, there could be an exodus of players but we know what we are doing and our fans should be rest assured that CAPS United will remain competitive, both in the field of play, and on the business front.”
Tutisani said they were negotiating with potential sponsors who could partner the club and help ease financial problems at the club. The Herald