Highlanders approaches Chihuri

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DISGRUNTLED Highlanders Football Club chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede has written to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Bulawayo City Council mayor Martin Moyo requesting a review of payments made to police for duties at football matches and Barbourfields Stadium rentals.

SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
SPORTS REPORTER

In a letter dated June 24, Gumede wrote: “Sir, as demonstrated so graphically in the enclosures we forward to you, deductions made from the gate returns are so exorbitant that clubs like Highlanders who survive from gate returns are literally short changed.

Sir, it does not make business sense for us as Highlanders to take home a paltry 30 to 35% when we have so many expenses directly attributable to our running a football club.

“It is our view, that police can with your advice, review such deductions in order to sustain itself. We already have a number of former PSL clubs that have folded due to financial constraints. It would be a national shame for clubs such as Highlanders to fold. Naturally there would be investigation on how such a crowd, pulling club could fold and it will be sad if a State institution such as police was blamed,” part of the letter reads.

The letter states that the police are not the only ones to blame as the council is also charging exorbitant fees for ground rentals.
Gumede has also written to Moyo with requests for reduction of the ground levy.

“Highlanders Football Club is a community team through and through. It relies heavily on gate takings for most of its operations. It is against this background that we are kindly requesting your esteemed office to consider reducing the current levy of 20% on gross at our home matches to a lesser percentage. The current percentage and other direct match expenses are crippling the club financially,” he said.

“With all due respect, councils are to blame as ground rentals are the highest single deduction – at 20% on gross. They, too, are being asked to see sense before the impending calamity if the status quo is maintained. Sir, now we seek your intervention as a favourable matter,” he said.

Statements in possession of Southern Eye Sport show that against Harare City Highlanders made a total of $14 999, but after deductions they received $4 820,99 with ground rentals having cost $2 999,80 while $1 336 went to the police as well as other costs the clubs incurred.

In the international friendly match against Notré Dame University from America Bosso made a total of $3 919, but the club received a paltry $497. ZRP were given $556 while council got $783.

Gumede said there was need for the situation to be solved as sport is a source of livelihood.

“It is a fact that sport is no longer just for recreational pastime, but a business providing livelihood for many people. The success of sport creates job opportunities too many to mention. It is also a fact that local authorities have a responsibility to provide amenities for their residents to enjoy the same either for recreational purposes or for serious sporting engagements,” he said.

Gumede said he had earlier on written to ZRP Bulawayo Province Senior Assistant Commissioner Stephen Mutamba on the police charges at football matches.

The Bosso boss said Assistant Commissioner Christopher Gora responded saying they had referred the matter to Police General Headquarters for guidance.

Bosso club members encouraged their bosses to engage council and the ZRP on the issue of ground rentals and review on charges for police details during matches in an extraordinary half year annual briefing held at the clubhouse on Sunday.

7 COMMENTS

  1. It boodles the mind why police should be paid for doing their job, for which they are employed, and in uniform for that mater. Moreover, if you notice what they will be doing, its unlike what happens in other countries.

    Our police will be busy watching the game, instead of the crowd. In soccer matched, police take turns to watch the crowd from the bottom of the stands and from the top. The ones at the bottom will be watching the stands, with their backs to the field of play, and the ones at the top will be watching the crowds and the field. The police on duty then change positions at half time.

    Any policeman found watching the match from the bottom of the stand is removed and reprimanded. They are at work, not at a football match. This issue must taken up with the Ministry of Sport to engage the Ministry of Home Affairs about the charges and police conduct.

    The police cannot be allowed to continue fleecing the clubs and watching matches for free. And the issue of labelling Highlanders as a troublesome club to bring higher numbers of police at Highlanders’ games must stop. Its a ploy to watch the entertaining matches for free.

  2. one way to go about it mr gumende is make sure that our fans prove to the whole world that we are a disciplined family. we stop all the nonsense that we do when we are in the stadium. we should sing and cheer on our team lose or win. when the referees or other teams provoke us to anger as they often do and know our weaknesses, we should shame them by controlling our emotions. how mine players provoked us last sunday and our fans fell into the trap. so let us teach and control our fan and we wont need the police and a few more cents we will get out of that will go into our pockets. if this goes on one day we will through the extra money get us to get our own stadium.

  3. How Mine provoked us,Sam says.
    All How Mine players did was to pray in the stadium and it would seem Bosso supporters are serious atheists who are provoked by Christian prayers,and in Boko Haram fashion they violently attacked the players.

  4. @Shibobo. As an ex-cop l feel bound to defend the Police for being paid on what is refered to as ‘Special Duties’ soccer matches being one of such duties. All police duties at ‘private functions’ are paid for since the police have no constitutional responsibility to provide security at such functions as the organisers have the choice of employing the services of either the police or private security.

  5. As an ex-cop l feel bound to defend the Police for being paid on what is refered to as ‘Special Duties’ soccer matches being one of such duties. All police duties at ‘private functions’ are paid for since the police have no constitutional responsibility to provide security at such functions as the organisers have the choice of employing the services of either the police or private security.

  6. Thanks adolf for enlightening us. In that case then it would make sense if the clubs opted for private security firms who would charge reasonable rates and get their staff to do the right thing in policing the crowds. They also have the powers to arrest and hand over offenders to the police. They would be a better sight at the stadia!!!!

  7. This issue of ZRP fleecing clubs should be now resolved once and for all as we will end up without soccer playing clubs at all. Police cover or follow political clubs always whenever they hold rallies and they do not charge at all. demonstrations are covered but not charged too. We all know that the police charges raised whenever rugby or cricket clubs play are not as high as those raised aginst Highlanders. The issue is not political I hope but yes, the police must now reduce their charge. No, it does not mean that due to the numbers of violations committed by the club’s supporters in the past the charge should be high, no that is idiotic indeed. ZRP had found their cow to milk and they are almost draining its blood now and they need to be sympathetic.

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