MY WORD ON SUNDAY: Things can turn ugly for Rollers

SHARE   |   Monday, 17 August 2015   |   By Mpho Dibeela


That Township Rollers are the country’s number one soccer team is without doubt. They lead on many fronts – number of fans, business support and carry the cream of local soccer talent. All this is thanks to a number of aspects. They branded well many years ago and were able to draw in a lot support with parents even handing over club jerseys to their children, making it a family team for most. They also appear to have been blessed with good leadership that other sides did not have. This translated in longer stability that inspired the growth of the brand.

You look at Rollers now and you will be consumed by jealousy not to bow down in appreciation. They appear as the leading light of what privatisation and its benefits are, provided one has attracted the right business partner. Yet even as good as this development has been; it stands out as something that could ultimately lead to its demise. Level heads are required at this very sensitive stage of the club’s existence. They privatized, yes! Or so they assumed. Yet things, it appears were not done properly. They were rushed, perhaps as division in leadership started showing, with those urging to meticulous handling being seen as enemies of the process. The High Court has now vindicated those that said transition was not handled well.

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There are not records that the team has seized to exist as a Society and now is a professionally run business. No memo has been sought and deposited by the Registrar of Societies, allowing the team to be something else than a society. This means that the team has to properly restart the process of privatization. This means that the old committee that is known and registered with the Society should resume the management and running of the club. Sad as it is; steps must be retraced. Or proper and harmonious discussions should start by mature adults who are prepared to own up to each other. This is much more reasonable path to take. It will ensure that the current achievements and investments are protected while the grievances of those who felt ignored are addressed – legally that is! Otherwise things could get uglier than they already are.

They simply have to hammer an out of court settlement. I do not think people that took the club to court hate it. They have continued to celebrate every good result the club posts. In fact it is because of their deep love for the team that they used and expended personal resources to see to it that the team got its full share value in privatisation. There is a cost to bear in fighting for righteousness – for a good principle. For this reason alone, I respect this group. Without this kind of fearless individuals chaos will reign supreme. People will be bought and paid heftily to subvert proper protocols and ways of doing things. Laws governing transition from Societies to private clubs would be replaced by a few Thousands of Pula. This is not what we will want.

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Rollers’ Somerset Gobuiwang and Jagdish should be stand up to show their leadership abilities and safeguard what they and the team have secured so far. They have to comply with the Registrar of Societies conditions. In the process of doing that they have to ensure that the aggrieved members do not in any way feel undermined in any way. There has to be a win-win situation out this. And Rollers and its fans must at the end be the ultimate winner. One hates to see a situation where all that has been done so far could easily dissolve into nothing. A lot is at stake – players and coaches’ big paying contracts. Fans expect more!          



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