By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA Premier League clubs have no intention of cancelling contracts with their players despite the fact that they have no source of income due to the lack of sponsorship.
A week ago, the NPL’s sole benefactor for the past 14 years, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), decided not enter into a new sponsorship agreement, after the league failed to meet its directive for the sourcing of additional funding amounting to N$9 million.
As a result, the league which was supposed to kick off on September 16 has been delayed indefinitely, pending successful sponsorship negotiations.
Club owners were widely expected to terminate contracts of players due to lack of funding but indication from many is that they will negotiate with players how to handle the situation.
One such club owner is Citizen FC chairman, Dave Goagoseb, who instead of terminating players’ contracts opted to explain the situation to his charges.
“We are in a very difficult situation and it is really a national problem that can turn catastrophic, but fortunately we are at the level of rebuilding the team,” Goagoseb told Confidente.
He said the team has about three to four players who are on contract and these are players who got elevated from the team’s youth development programme.
“I have explained the situation and there are no more fights on issues such as payment. There is nothing else we can do but I have told the players that we will share the little resources we have or might get,” he stressed.
Goagoseb said the team’s executive had a meeting with the players at which they (players) were assured of assistance from the club, should the need arise.
“You know these are humans who also have families and problems that we will help where we can. They are not just players, they are family. There are players who left the club but they are now coming back to request assistance from us, and we are helping them. We have built a foundation with these players. You know players can be faced with a career threatening situation such as an injury but we will not abandon a player we stick with him just like a families do,” he said.
Unlike Citizen FC, league champions Tigers FC are focused on clinching the Standard Bank Super Cup on September 10. Head coach, Brian Isaacs said there has not been any communication from management to terminate the player’s contracts.
“We are fully focused on the challenge that lies ahead and go on preparing for the new season up until we are told otherwise,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the smaller clubs in the country, Tura Magic also expressed concern about the lack of funding but said cancelling players’ contracts will be ill advised at this stage.
Club chairman, Peter Nakurua said even under trying circumstances the club has always honoured its obligations to players and will try its best to honour contracts. “Tura Magic exists because of players and we can’t just turn our backs against them. If any decision has to be taken, it has to be with them in mind. One can’t really say much at this stage until we have met as clubs to agree on the direction to take,” said Nakurua.
He added: “It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation as a football family but it is important that we put heads together and find lasting solutions.”
Confidente has been reliably informed that a meeting of club officials was scheduled for early next week to discuss various courses of options. Sources have indicated that the kick-off of the league will be further delayed to January next year to give negotiators enough time to approach potential funders.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015