Insufficient funding stifles football clubs’ CSR strategies … Starlile finds alternative
Jeremiah Ndjoze Windhoek-It goes without saying that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an essential tool and a massive component of strategic planning for sporting organisations around the globe but the implementation of this particular concept in Namibia is becoming elusive, or worse still, virtually non-existent. The reason? Money, and the lack thereof, determines local football club bosses. In an exclusive interview with New Era Sport this week, business mogul and chairman of Black Africa Sports Club, Ranga Haikali, lamented the lack of sponsorships in the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) as the prime hindrance in all the club’s endeavours to plough back. “The clubs do not have money. We’re only surviving from handouts and sponsors,” Haikali charged. The former trade unionist maintains that NPL teams are currently coughing out more money to compete in the country’s flagship football league than what they will recoup when they scoop the ultimate prize, which is the league title championship. It has emerged that Black Africa had a comprehensive CSR programme under the sponsorship of FNB Namibia, through which the team reached out to young people, schools and old age homes across the country. But according to Haikali, that programme ceased to exist when the FNB Namibia sponsorship came to an end, and what the team receives from the NPL currently is not even enough to “buy lollypops for the members of the communities and the same applies to all the other NPL affiliates out here”. “If there’s a club out there that wants to claim they are making enough money from gate takings, I challenge them to come forward and prove it. The stadiums are constantly empty,” Haikali emphasised. Tura Magic’s honcho Isack Hamata echoed Haikali’s sentiments, adding that there is indeed willingness from the clubs – including the Magicians – to engage in CSR activities. Hamata cited a clean-up campaign by Tigers as a case in point and like Haikali, he maintains that football teams in the country do not even have enough resources to put their plans into action. According to Hamata, Tura Magic receives a N$65,000 monthly grant from the NPL through the MTC sponsorship but the club’s overheads run in excess of N$100,000 per month. “So, when you look at it holistically, Tura Magic’s management is already involved in some sort of CSR in that we are bankrolling the salaries of over 30 footballers out of our own pockets,” Hamata added. He strongly believes that CRS can be only be implemented by all clubs at all levels in a utopia, but sadly the country is finding itself in an abnormal football situation. Nonetheless, on closer inspection, this entire predicament smacks of a chicken and egg situation. According to club bosses, for there to be money that would allow clubs to freely plough back into the communities, communities ought to fill up the stadiums in large numbers. Katutura glamour football club African Stars office administrator, Lesley Kozonguizi, equally lamented the dreadfulness of the status quo. But the former Baronages pop band lead vocalist was adamant that with industrious ideas, the current state of affairs can be reversed. It is with this understanding that the Reds are currently doing a survey to establish the exact figure of their supporters, including their localities. “This will assist us in our quest to solicit a sponsorship in that we will be able to prove to potential financial backers exactly how many supporters follow us, their demographics and their localities,” Kozonguizi relates to New Era Sport. Fans who avail their telephone numbers will be supplied with a link through which they can access the broader database where they will be required to enter their names and locations. However, there are a few hiccups. “The challenge that we are facing at this point is that in order for one to be able to access the database, internet access is required. “It is a fact that hordes of our fans live in rural areas, and among those that are in urban centres not all of them have access to internet via their mobile phones,” Kozonguizi revealed, adding that eventually the team will be required to undertake tours to rural areas or to establish mobile registration venues across the city where supporters can register. Pirates to take on Civics tonight Meanwhile, there will be action in the country’s topflight football league, the MTC Namibia Premier League, as matters continue tonight at the Sam Nujoma Stadium when Orlando Pirates take on Civics at 20h00.
New Era Reporter
2018-02-21 10:14:40 8 months ago