PSL has potential to be big business entity: Mubaiwa


HARARE tycoon and Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa, gunning for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman’s post said the league has the potential to become a big business entity.

Sports Reporter

Mubaiwa will face incumbent PSL boss and Caps United chairman Twine Phiri on March 9.

The gangling football director boldly declared his interest for the post last month. He is credited for bringing change to the once troubled Harare giants, DeMbare.

Mubaiwa did not mince his words during this interview as he took a swipe at the Phiri-lead executive which he accused of committing many blunders and wrong decisions at the expense of clubs.

“All the 16 clubs have been up in arms with PSL because of the way they have been running affairs. It is not easy when insiders come out in the open to expose the rot in the association,” Mubaiwa said, obviously with the Cuthbert Mutandwa dossier in his mind.

“All our sponsors have been pouring administrative costs into the association. When the association gets to hard times and that money cannot be accounted for to save us in such situations, then what are we doing? Where is that money going?” questioned Mubaiwa.

“There are a number of people that have been employed at the association’s headquarters without engaging clubs or other executive members. It becomes a one or two-man band which is very wrong. This must come to an end.”

He added that it was embarrassing to note that sponsors have since lost confidence with PSL resulting in them not giving any money to the association each time they have a tournament.

“All our sponsors now prefer doing all the payments on their own. They can no longer trust the association. Sponsors should come with the money give it to PSL to run a tournament and at the end of it get a consolidated breakdown of the money used — which was no longer the case now.”

Mubaiwa said good administrators should introduce an open door policy to all clubs and football stakeholders.

“For every opportunity that comes our way, clubs and stakeholders should be consulted first before the executive makes the final decision. I can give you a good example of the SuperSport deal. Clubs have been complaining about the proceeds. The go-between and PSL are making a killing while clubs get peanuts,” he added.

He said when he gets into office he would want to turn PSL into a business entity.

“If we manage to secure sponsors, all the administrative money should be channelled towards the association’s properties. We can have our own PSL lodges similar to Zifa which will come in handy when clubs out of town come to play. We can give them accommodation at reasonable rates.”

Mubaiwa spoke about deductions that go hand in hand with football charges.

“There is need for the leadership to engage Zifa and municipalities to negotiate the reduction of rates that Zifa charges clubs as well as charges for the use of stadiums. They can even leave the maintenance of those venues to PSL.

“Transport has been another thorny issue for clubs. Nyaradzo is there. No one went out to look for them and they are willing to engage us so that we can negotiate buses for all the 16 clubs”

For a long time, the issue of TV rights has not been clear in our country compared to other countries where clubs make a killing from TV rights.

Mubaiwa had this to say; “We would want to make sure that we engage our national broadcaster as well as SuperSport to negotiate for better packages each time our games are screened live. This has been a hot issue in the past and many administrators have failed to address it.”

He emphasised the need to revive junior football in all PSL clubs.

“We used to have curtain raisers in all our league matches with football action starting as early as 10am. The games would start with Under-10, U-13, U-15, U19 and then the main match at 3pm. We would even want to make constitutional amendments to have junior matches before main matches to revive junior policy in all clubs.”

Mubaiwa has a rich history of football which dates back to his days as a DeMbare supporter.

“I was one of the reliable DeMbare supporters and the leadership then saw my commitment to the cub and decided to incorporate me in the system. In 1998 I started sponsoring football from grassroots level in the Seke communal areas until now after forming the Harava League.

“I moved into Chitungwiza to sponsor different football clubs as well as tournaments which produced a number of good players that now grace our local league and I am proud of that.”

Mubaiwa said his chances of winning the race were high.

“I have done my homework. I have talked to all the clubs and sponsors readying myself for the new challenge. I have made the issue of strikes at DeMbare a thing of the past. What then will stop me from making PSL a big business entity? But may the best candidate win,” he said.