MY WORD ON SUNDAY: Rollers should roll out Plan B

SHARE   |   Monday, 26 October 2015   |   By Mpho Dibeela

Township Rollers as a club it is much bigger than the individuals that make it. It is a massive national brand that cannot be left die at the wish of one or two men. It will survive all. And hence when I warned a few months ago that parties in the opposite ends of the club’s rivalry should trend with care some could easily have dismissed me. I am glad that the club took the proper action of calling for mediation and found the appropriate person in the President of Botswana Football Association (BFA) Tebogo Sebego do make sanity prevail. His mediation efforts bore the interim committee that included members of the old committee that had taken the team to court to block privatisation, resulting with David Mmui co-chairing the club with Walter Kgabung. As things stand the expectation is that the committee is working around the clock to address issues of securing a business partner who will help in funding and developing the commercial arm of the club to make it self-reliant. It is expected that Township Holdings will be given the first priority of being adopted for that role since it is already involved with the club. The Holdings investors Jagdish Shah and Somerset Gobuiwang have been the cornerstone on which Rollers’ professionalism has been based. They have selflessly devoted their time and resources to see the club emerge as a very strong force locally. And hence it worries when one hears that the two investors have fallen out. This means that the future of this partnership is facing serious challenges. If the two don’t agree then Rollers interim committee should decisively pursue a route that will not endanger the club. If both or one of the investors play big with the intention of usurping the team from the committee then such a person should immediately be dropped. The committee should speedily look for and marshal out a plan B. Potential investors are many out there. They have been dying to get their merchandise on a Rollers jersey or bus. The committee should call out bids for investors to line up. After the pitches, the committee should select the best partner who will play by their rules. Rollers should not make the mistake of privatising just for the sake of it. Somerset and Jagdish should know that the opportunity they have as Rollers’ business partners is a huge opportunity, which though it might not be rewarding them now, will pay them big in the not too distant future. In fact, it takes more creativity on their side to ensure that the brand’s value grows and it is diversified enough to bring in money into the club. If they bicker among themselves, then they have outlived their valuableness to the club. The interim committee must be bold and strong enough to tell the duo to ship out if they should. In no time there will be new investors, including some of the leading mobile telephone companies which need a big brand like Rollers to advance their brand. The team is currently doing very well in the league and without question has the country’s leading players. The interim committee should not let them down by failing to be proactive. They should not be caught in a false belief that without the current investors there will be no others who will bankroll the club. The Rollers brand is too big to be compromised and undermined. It is equally very resistant. It has weathered many storms to fail on this one. And so Mmui and Kgabung with their rest of their committee should take charge and not be held captive by anyone or any interests. Rollers family looks to their prudence in safeguarding the brand.   

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