WINDHOEK – Uncertainty hanging over the immediate future of one of the pioneers of local football has finally been put to bed, Ramblers Football Club, has bowed out of domestic football.
Its signed, sealed, delivered – ambitious Central Division One campaigners, University of Namibia (UNAM) Football Club, has bought the franchise of the Pioniers Park based outfit and will now take its place among the country’s elite football teams when the ballooned 16-team league resumes its activities for the 2014/2015 season.
Ramblers alongside the Katutura big four, African Stars, Black Africa, Orlando Pirates and Tigers were the only survivors from the capital Windhoek, featuring in topflight football since the amalgamation of multi racial football during the height of apartheid in 1977.
The Tunschell Street Boys, under the shrewd stewardship of utility defender Gunter Hellinghausen, ended the inaugural season in 2nd place behind Katutura glamour football club African Stars in both the national league and the Mainstay Cup competitions after edging ahead of Stars in the highly competitive Central Division League.
Rammies won the coveted national league title in 1992 and went onto claim the scalps of defending champions Black Africa in the penalty shootout to add the NFA Tafel Lager Cup to their already decorated trophy cabinet in 2005.
Approached for comment, Rammies team manager, Jorge da Purificacao, said it’s a bitter pill to swallow to see the club bowing out of the premiership, but added the sale was inevitable.
“It’s a well kept secret that many teams in the NPL are struggling to make ends meet with the limited financial resources at their disposal. We just can’t keep up with the burden of maintaining players and the astronomical costs of running a club in a semi professional setup”.
The former Ramblers winger says the club opted to pull out, at least for the time being, but was quick to calm down the club’s diehard fans that the idea is not to disappear entirely from topflight football. “Look, the purchase deal also include the exchange of status since Ramblers will now compete in the second tier division filing the spot vacated by Unam.
Da Purificacaco added that the club wants to keep youngsters in its Youth Academy playing competitively with the ultimate aim of gaining promotion to the elite ranks when it finally finds decent sponsors to sustain its operations in the tough and demanding rigours of Premier league football.
Quizzed to reveal the amount exchanging hands in the purchase deal, Da Purificacao, was cagey and could not reveal any figures, rather choosing to shield himself with the usual confidentiality clause.
New Era Reporter
2014-09-01 10:14:38 4 years ago