Botswana Premier League board this week offered their CEO Bennett Mamelodi a contract extension of two more years. BG Sport can safely reveal that the decision was made this Wednesday at a meeting of the board members held at the Grand Palm Hotel.
Mamelodi currently has a running contract that is set to expire in November and the board members had to make a decision in time to allow the CEO time to think about his future. The contract has been a subject of discussion for the better part of this year with uncertainty hovering on Mamelodi’s future as the board was divided on his further engagement.
This publication can further reveal that it will be an improved contract that will see the CEO earn a basic monthly salary in the region of P50K plus other incentives that include gratuity and a house allowance amongst peripheral benefits. Mamelodi was initially brought in to the league by the then BPL chairman Mokganedi Molefhe with the mandate to bring in sponsors for the league. He played a major role in the romping in of sponsors such as beMOBILE in the era of Setete Phuthego who led the league as General Manager, and also presided over the bringing in of Mascom as Top 8 sponsors. In addition, the CEO helped strike some strategic partnership deals with the likes of Grand Palm and mobile giants Huawei.
Despite this, there had been some unsatisfied elements within the football fraternity who felt that Mamelodi had done nothing to warrant any further offer of a contract. Names were even bandied around as suggestions of who could take over. But BPL chairman Walter Kgabung denied that there were ever doubts over the abilities of Mamelodi, saying he and his board members have always believed in their man, hence the new and improved package for him. This he said on the backdrop of some sentiments that the BPL could have advertised the position so as to attract fresh talent. Some pundits have even averred that the BPL was acting under pressure because of uncertainties surrounding his continued stay as some South African sport entities were beginning to inquire about his availability with the view of pricing him away. But Kgabung reiterated that they acted under no pressure but out of the belief that Mamelodi still has a lot to offer to the league.
“We believe in the incumbent, and we have no doubt he is the right man for the job at hand,” Kgabung told BG Sport. Earlier this week, the BPL sent out invitations for a Thursday press conference where they were expected to make an announcement on the status of the CEO and his contract. The chairman however added that the league still needs more money to be pumped into the league, an assignment that once again will fall on the lap of Mamelodi should he accept the new contract. “The running of the league needs to be improved and we want it to be a safe place for everyone who wants to attend games. We need to work on avoiding congestions at the gates,” Kgabung added. At the time of going to press on Wednesday evening, Mamelodi told BG Sport that he was in the dark about any new contract. “It’s news to me. I am not aware of the new contract because no such information has reached me. All I can say is that I have a running contract that ends in November. I came here purely to grow football in Botswana and lead Botswana football towards professionalism, and I can only stay as long as I am needed,” he told BG Sport.