Botswana’s Rollers make P4 million loss
By Bakang Mhaladi
GABORONE – Botswana soccer champions, Township Rollers, envied for their astute administration, have suffered a P4,3 million loss in the just ended season.
The club, which enjoys financial backing from wealthy businessman, Jagdish Shah recorded a P4,3million loss after their expenses ballooned to P9,5million, the majority gobbled by players’ salaries.
Although individual players’ earning have remained a closely guarded secret, reports are that Popa is the best paying club in Botswana with senior players earning between P20,000 and P30,000 since Shah came on board as an investor.
However, the club’s members were told during a weekend Annual General Meeting that the team suffered a P4,3million loss last season, after expenses went up to P9,5million against an income of P5,2million.
Club chairperson, Walter Kgabung was confident that the team would recoup the losses if it wins the local knock out competition and progress to the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
“If we manage our objectives of winning the Mascom Top 8 and reaching the group stages of the CAF Champions League, as well as step up merchandise sales and membership drive, then we can recoup our costs,” Kgabung said.
Despite the losses, the club’s supporters heard that the Rollers’ brand continued to grow with a number of sponsors coming on board.
The club is in the process of moving from a society to a registered private company, which will allow for further structural changes meant to benefit the Gaborone giants.
Rollers has made strong off season acquisitions and were involved in friendly matches against South African side, Kaizer Chiefs.
The team has improved its medical care for players following the tragic loss of midfielder, Gofaone Tiro who collapsed and died in training early this year.
“We have taken a decision to give our players the best medical care in response to the tragedy. We cannot control the will of God but we will do our best to protect the health of the players,” Kgabung said.
He said the internal strife over the control of the club was now a thing of the past. Rollers were involved in a damaging fight which almost tore the club apart and saw warring factions seek court intervention last season.
“The club went through tough times. We are happy that we are now one happy family that is on a mission to see the club grow.”
Meanwhile, Rollers has failed in its bid to sign Zimbabwean midfielder, Michelle Katsvairo on loan from South Africa’s Chiefs.
Rollers had expressed interest but the Zimbabwean has rejected the move, instead vowing he would rather ‘rot’ on the Amakhosi bench than to move to the Botswana side.