HIGHLANDERS recorded their highest attendance of the season grossing $95 911 from gate takings in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match played against Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
The match ended 0-1 in favour of Dynamos. A total of 16 508 people paid through the turnstiles with the club taking a sum of $32 586 after the Bulawayo giants had paid all other expenses.
Club treasurer Jerry Sibanda said they were happy with the attendance.
“The attendance was not very bad. It was quite pleasing considering that the rest of the ground was $5. We hope that supporters will keep on coming. We want to end the season on a high note. We can then pay winning bonuses and the stakeholders we owe,” he said.
Some of the expenses for Highlanders were for stadium owners — Bulawayo City Council — who took a huge chunk of $19 182,90, Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) and Zifa received $5 754 each, Zimbabwe Republic Police got $6 371, PSL received $3 910,22 while the referees got $870.
The amount of expenses totalled $63 325,86.
Sibanda bemoaned the amount of money they are paying the Bulawayo City Council.
“As a club we feel we could survive if the City Council took 10% of the amount because 20% is too much. We will continue with our appeal to Zifa to pressurise the council to hear our plea. The 20% charge was fixed when we were using the Zimbabwe dollar and it was never revised again.
“We were happy with the police because they deployed 235 police officers. It was worth it because they helped calm down the situation. We really appreciate their efforts. Zifa and SRC are not helping us, but we are just paying them money because we are affiliates and they are the mother bodies,” the former Bosso striker said.
Last year, the city council turned down Highlanders Football Club’s request for a review of 20% levy on gate takings at Barbourfields Stadium.
The local authority said the club should have first approached its mother body PSL before bringing the matter to council.
Sibanda said they lost out on more revenue because some fans preferred to watch the match on SuperSport 9.
“The match had been advertised on SuperSport 9, so some fans stayed away because they were afraid of things like violence and so forth,” he said.
Last year, 25 957 people paid to watch the match which grossed $104 445 with Highlanders getting $40 000 after paying expenses.