THE number of fans who came to the stadia to watch the domestic top-flight matches this season dropped sharply compared to the last term.
The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) management met in Harare on Saturday to review the 2013 soccer season and plan for next year’s season where only two teams, 15th and 16th will be relegated, while the 13th and 14th clubs will be involved in play-offs.
According to figures presented at their meeting, the number of fans coming to watch league and cup games fell significantly compared to the last season.
A total number of 495 098 fans were reported to have watched PSL matches this year compared to 643 293 during the 2012 season.
PSL attributed the low attendances to the increase in gate charges. This season gate charges rose to $5 for the rest of ground up from $3 charged in the 2012 season.
It was noted that PSL and club income was being affected by the introduction of the 6% Zifa levy on gross gate takings and that clubs were not properly accounting for gate takings and also not efficiently controlling the selling of tickets.
The PSL resolved that their levy be deducted immediately after the ground levies.
“The introduction of the Zifa 6% levy on gross gate takings has affected income received by clubs and the league,” PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele said in a statement.
“We have observed that clubs are not efficiently controlling the selling of tickets, with a number of fans gaining access into the stadia free of charge. It has been noted that a number of clubs are not properly accounting for gate takings.”
PSL resolved to regularise the payment of various interest groups after football matches and that the levy shall in future be deducted immediately after the ground levies, Sports and Recreation Commission and Zifa levies.
Dynamos has been the major cash cow for the league, but this season, their support base dropped significantly despite the fact that they went all the way to win their third successive league title.
Even on the day they lifted the title, there was a low turnout at Rufaro Stadium.