FOUR clubs are pressing the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to hike gate charges for the Mbada Diamonds Cup tournament.
The PSL charged a dollar in gate fees for the first round of the country’s richest cup competition which kicked off a fortnight ago, but that has not gone down well with clubs still participating in the tournament.
Highlanders, Dynamos, Chicken Inn and How Mine, four of the eight teams that qualified for the quarter-finals, think that the gate charges are not enough and are demanding an upward review.
This is despite the fact that the sponsors are taking care of all the costs of running the tournament, including appearance fees for the players — something local clubs do not do.
The other clubs that have qualified into the last eight are Caps United, Buffaloes, Harare City and Hwange.
PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele revealed yesterday that his office had received letters from teams pressing for the increment of gate charges in this weekend’s quarter-final matches.
“Yes, I have received letters from Dynamos, Highlanders, Chicken Inn and How Mine to that effect,” Ndebele said.
“In their letters they were saying the dollar that is being charged is not viable. They are saying there are other costs in things like training, rentals and salaries,” he added.
“But this was a request from the sponsors that the gate charges be reduced to allow more people to access their matches. This was communicated to the fans and I think it’s too late to change
that now. The gate charges remain the same for the weekend matches.”
National supporters’ liaison officer Simeone Jamanda welcomed the stance taken by the PSL saying the clubs want to be “greedy” considering that the sponsors are paying for all the expenses.
Clubs that bowed out in the first round were given $15 000, while those who will be booted out in the quarters will get 30 000.
The semi-finalists will be rewarded with a $45 000 pay cheque while runners-up and winners will get $90 000 and $130 000 respectively.
In addition to the prize monies, the Mbada Diamonds Cup package includes uniforms, accommodation, food, tracksuits and travel fares.
The sponsors also pay appearance fees for every match to players and members of the technical team at $100 and $150 rates respectively.
“On behalf of the supporters, we are grateful to the PSL and Mbada Diamonds Cup for realising the important role that we play in the development of our football in the country.
Mbada Diamonds are harnessing these diamonds for the people and so the people should benefit.
“We see no reason why the gate charges should be increased considering that our dear sponsor is taking care for all the team expenses.
I think some clubs are just being greedy here.
We should learn to appreciate some things. As supporters we are proposing that the PSL and the sponsors maintain the gate charges until the end,” Jamanda said.
Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final fixtures
Saturday: Caps United v Chicken Inn (Ascot), Harare City v Hwange (Dulibadzimu)
Sunday: Dynamos v How Mine (Rufaro), Highlanders v Buffaloes (Mucheke).