The Herald (Harare)

24 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Kazembe Hails Bancabc

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
The Zimbabwean Dynamos Football Club

AS Dynamos stand on the threshold of another milestone with victory in today's Mbada Diamonds Cup final guaranteeing them a double, club secretary Raymond Kazembe believes their newfound

stability is the rock on which their success has been built over the last two seasons.

Dynamos are just 90 minutes away from completing a rare back-to-back League and Cup double for the domestic game and only a bullish Monomotapa -- the 2012 Mbada Diamonds Cup surprise packages -- stand between DeMbare and their own piece of history.

Kazembe said while a lot had been said about how Dynamos have managed to successfully defend their Premiership crown and power their way into their second successive Mbada Diamonds Cup final, he felt the platform for that triumph had been built around the stability that has existed in their usually volatile camp.

The Dynamos secretary-general said that stability had been brought about by the club's major sponsors BancABC who coincidentally have been paying the players and coaches' salaries in the last two seasons.

Kazembe said the funds that BancABC injected into Dynamos helped the club's management, board of directors, the team and their multitude of supporters to come together and remain focused on their top-flight assignments.

The results, Kazembe said, "have been there for all to see as we have basically won every major title that has been on offer in the last two years".

Kazembe paid tribute to BancABC for helping fund Dynamos' Champions League campaign as well as their failed Confederation Cup bid.

"As much as the starting point would be the players, technical team, the board, supporters and the executive who worked together to bring results I think over and above all that we owe it to our sponsors BancABC.

"Some would ask why BancABC but I would like us to look back at the previous seasons at Dynamos and you can see that there have always been squabbles especially over money but BancABC came along and provided that financial support.

"They have been around for two years now and it is no coincidence that we have won back-to-back championships because they have ensured that players' salaries and that of the caches are paid on time.

"Because of BancABC's involvement everyone has been focused and apart from the salaries the bank has provided transport throughout the season which meant that we did not lose sleep over how we were going to travel for fixtures," Kazembe said.

The Harare businessman also reckoned that some of the boardroom tensions and divisions that used to characterise the Dynamos administration had been overcome because of the bank's financial injection, which meant individuals within the leadership did not have to use a lot of their personal resources to run the club.

"Even though they had initially come in to fund our domestic campaign, they agreed on short notice to help us with the Champions League safari, something they had not had budgeted for and went out of their way to continue supporting us when we were knocked out and had to play in the Confederation Cup.

"So one can see that if they had not come on board and as much as we appreciate the sound management from the executive, we would not have been able to win that tight league race without a substantive sponsor.

"They have also chipped in with incentives for the players here and there and we have to bear in mind that they are in business and they cannot do everything for us.

"We are still engaging them for the 2013 Champions League and we hope and trust that in spite of the economic challenges that everybody is facing, they will still come in and assist, we understand that in the business environment there are some challenges", said Kazembe.

Winning the Mbada Diamonds Cup this afternoon, and also exhibiting exemplary behaviour, Kazemebe said, would be one of the major ways to repay the club's sponsors for standing by them in the last two years.

"If we can bring in more trophies and progress into the mini-league in the Champions League and if we can show good behaviour on and off the field, we would have done well to live to the expectations of their brand".

BancABC also finance Dynamos' bitter rivals Highlanders and police outfit Black Mambas who escaped relegation on the last day of the season.

Kazembe noted that an analysis of the 2012 Premiership campaign showed that clubs that did not have corporate support had struggled with their game.

"We urge other corporates to come in and assist the league as a whole and most importantly clubs and if you look at the success story of Highlanders' rebuilding exercise I think it is also because of financial backing of sponsors.

"If you compare with clubs that survived and those that have been relegated it is largely to do with financial challenges. So my call is to other sponsors to come in and help all the clubs.

"Manchester United has completed its 11th sponsorship agreement this season by signing a four-year deal with Turkish bank Denizbank and something similar should be happening with our clubs but we need to have sound and transparent administrations that attracts such high numbers of sponsors

"We also urge the PSL to lead the way in working together with the clubs to bring all sponsors on the table just like they do in South Africa where sponsors actually bid to be considered.

"We need all of them and we need a situation where al our sponsors are also working together so that a team that is sponsored by Standard Bank can be able to play in a league that is sponsored by FBC without any major hitches," Kazembe said.

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