HIGHLANDERS Football Club is concerned about the low attendance at home games this season.
This was said by the treasurer Jerry Sibanda yesterday as he presented his side’s mid-term report at a poorly attended extraordinary mid-year general meeting. Only 45 paid up members had been accredited at the start of the meeting at the Clubhouse.
“Attendance at our home games has been very low. Our estimated attendance for this time of the year was 63 000, but 49 213 have paid to watch our matches. We have failed to reach that mark. Last year by this month 51 189 supporters had come to watch our matches. We have raised $62 091 from gate takings when our budget estimate was $76 000, so we are already in deficit,” Sibanda said.
Highlanders has played six home matches with 6 598 attending the Shabanie Mine match, Hwange 8 796, Harare City was attended by 4 724, FC Platinum 7 634 and 5 365 for last week’s match against Black Rhinos with the Caps United registering the highest attendance at 10 409 fans.
Sibanda said some of their funding came from main sponsors BancABC and cup games.
“Last year we played in the Bob Super Cup and we got $90 000 that is where we obtained part of the money to purchase the bus,” he said.
“This year things have changed. In the Bob 90 Cup we only got $25 000 after losing to Dynamos and $2 000 for the CG Msipa Charity match in Gweru.
“We appreciate the sponsorship that we are getting from BancABC. The total sponsorship for paying players, signing-on fees and accommodation is $317 356 against our budget of $335 000,” he said.
Bosso played three pre-season friendlies and collected $5 712, while $10 233 came from SuperSport television rights, among other sources of income.
On the field of play, Highlanders chairman Peter Dube said they were happy with performance so far.
“We have remained competitive. The results have been inconsistent and we have given away goals where victory looked certain. We hope that we will have a winning streak and maintain that to the end. Of course it is easy when you look from the stands, but it’s different when you are on the ground,” he said.
Members raised concern over the signing of one-year contracts by some players to which Dube said they were looking into the issue as some of the players’ deals were coming to an end this season.
He said Munyaradzi Diya, Simon Munawa, Hillary Madzivanyika, Cleopas Dube, Charles Sibanda and Joel Ngodzo’s contracts were ending on December 31.
Dube commended players for discipline on the field of play. Eric Mudzingwa was the first player to be suspended ahead of the derby clash against How Mine yesterday after 14 matches. Dube thanked supporters for their behaviour.