Despite other teams crying foul about the postponement of the start of the 2017/18 BTC Premiership season start, the embattled Mochudi Centre Chiefs have taken advantage of the delay to finalise their preparations. This week Botswana Premier League Board chairman Rapula Okaile announced that the league will kick-start on the 23rd September. Centre Chiefs official Clifford Mogomotsi said the move would give them a chance to finalise their preparations which have been behind. “Our preparations for the season have been behind schedule and the moving of the league start to the September 23rd will give us some extra time to prepare well,” said Mogomotsi. He said this has been because they are facing a financial crunch, which saw them missing out on taking part in pre-season tournament recently. There have also been reports that players threatened to boycott training in protest for their unpaid monthly dues this past week. “I can confirm this as true. Chiefs’ money has never been a secret but we are trying to solve this internally. We are engaging all our stakeholders to find out how best we can deal with the matter in an amicable way,” he said. Money problems have haunted Chiefs since the team parted ways with its investor Sayeed Jamali.
Centre Chiefs however this week got a shot in the arm after receiving a P100 000 as price money from the one-day Gaborone City Mayor’s Cup tournament which was held in July. The team also received a further P50 000 as the tournament’s appearance fee. It is believed that this money even though it is insufficient will help the team address some of the problems that they are faced with. Furthermore the recent announcement of the new P39 million BTC sponsorship deal has brought hope to Chiefs officials. Mogomotsi said the sponsorship increment by 30% is a welcome development. He said for struggling teams such as Centre Chiefs this might benefit them more. BTC Premiership teams have always cried foul that the monthly grants they get is too little and called for it to be increased. Mogomotsi is optimistic that with the increased sponsorship their concerns might be addressed. “If you listened very well to the BPL chairman during the launch of the sponsorship deal you would have picked that he talked about this issue. Even though it has not been officially communicated to us I am optimistic that the grants will be increased,” he said, explaining that if the grants are increased it will be a great boost for the teams as they will be able to run their activities better than before.