ONCE in football, always in football.
THANDIWE MOYO/SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
This sums up Ndumiso Gumede’s romance with the beautiful game as he retraced his steps to Highlanders yesterday, taking over as the club’s first chief executive officer (CEO).
“Yours Truly” as Gumede is affectionately known, is a former chairman of the club and is credited with acquiring the club’s assets which include the offices in the city centre where he will be operating from, the club house and the camping house in Luveve known as Hotel California.
And as Highlanders moved to meet the Fifa and Caf Club Licensing Regulations, the former Zifa vice-president reported for work yesterday after signing a two-year contract with the country’s second most successful club.
“Gumede started today (yesterday). He signed a two year contract. I am not sure if he is in office now, but are we looking forward to working with him. We look forward to achieving more with him. He is one person who knows so much about football, but will never admit. He knows what most people don’t know.
“He will be answerable every moment although the executive is still there to deal with policy matters. We believe that he will impart something on modern football. He will lay a foundation for the future,” club chairman Peter Dube said yesterday.
Gumede said: “I am in the office right now. The contract is for a minimum of two years. I have been given guidelines and I must fulfil them. I have been given a limited amount of free reign and with the experience I have there is a lot to be done. As I speak I am with the senior team head coach (Kelvin) Kaindu and we are discussing grassroots development. I am passionate about the development of the sport.
“What is most important is for the club to follow Fifa and Caf regulations that state that elite clubs should move towards being professional. All clubs in the Premier League ought to move to a position where they are able to acquire licences if they meet certain requirements. Highlanders have 50% of what is required,” he said.
Fifa requires that clubs should, among other things, have an office, communication systems, programmes that involve or include women and the youth, access to medical facilities and this includes practitioners and either own a stadium or have a lease agreement with local authorities.
Yesterday the Bosso CEO said he was getting acquainted with the club programmes that he would be manning.
“Today (yesterday) was a familiarisation process and Dube took me around because one of my main objectives would be the day to day running of the club’s business interests, the clubhouse and Manwele Beer Garden,” he added.