Jwaneng — Veteran football administrator and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi has advised clubs to groom quality players and sell them, especially to European leagues that are more advanced and well-funded.
Speaking at a club engagement workshop for Jwaneng Galaxy FC in Jwaneng recently, Mamelodi said selling of players abroad was a major source of income for top teams in the African continent, especially from West Africa.
He said such could be achieved by privatising clubs and running them as corporate entities rather than societies.
"Turning professional is now or never. It is a pity that local clubs only talk and never walk. How many years have passed since we have been singing this song? How many years have passed since the Bosele Declaration," he enquired rhetorically.
Mamelodi said it was a pity that local clubs still depended on entrance fees at the stadia as the backbone of their financial income, which he said was insufficient.
He also encouraged clubs to design clear roles for executive members to prevent friction.
Mamelodi also castigated the tendency of rewarding loyalty with key positions in the club management.
"Management positions should be filled by competent people with the right credentials. We should desist from the tendency to engage people in leadership positions just because they were loyal to the club during their playing days or because they were good players," he cautioned.
Again, he argued that too much volunteerism in club management was also a negative because it always brought complacency.
Galaxy FC patron and founding president, Koolatotse Koolatotse accused most local clubs of neglecting management and focusing more on players and coaches in an attempt to be successful and competitive.
"Clubs also need to focus more on improving their management if they were to be successful," he added.
Koolatotse also revealed that Galaxy FC was in the process of establishing a development programme that would limit buying of foreign players in future.
"We want to groom our players from young ages so that if there was any need to buy a player, it would only be a few foreign players whose talent is not available locally.
Our priority would be to use local coaches, and if we cannot find a good enough local coach, then we will produce one," he said.
Such a strategy, he said, would enable them to sustain themselves beyond 2021, a period which Debswana planned to stop funding the club.
He indicated that Debswana would, however, continue to give Galaxy FC business as a way of supporting the club.
"The difference is only that the support would not come as a direct injection of funds as has been the case. And the workshop came at the right time to help the club prepare for that eventuality," he said.
Galaxy FC chairperson, Njabulo Gilika also revealed that the club had placed players' welfare at heart and would continue to ensure that they were well equipped with survival skills to be able to sustain their families even beyond their playing career.
Gilika said as a club, Galaxy FC wanted to be a leader in the path to professionalism and would only achieve such through teamwork.
Meanwhile, Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Mclean Letshwiti said he was happy that Galaxy FC already had ambitions to go professional, something he said was in line with FIFA objectives of a worldwide professionalism in the sport.
Letshwiti said it was BFA's desire to see all clubs go professional, adding that such would automatically strengthen the league and make it competitive.
"For a company to be strong and profitable, you need strong shareholders.
The premier league is our company and clubs as shareholders need to be strong," he said.
Thus, he encouraged the teams to consider going professional as a collective than individuals.
The topics that were discussed at the workshop included club management and good governance.
Source : BOPA