Gunners navigate the storm

Isaac Pheko - FOOTBALL
Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Gunners navigate the storm

One of the country’s biggest football brands, Extension Gunners, has denied being in any sort of crisis despite their chairman Tariq Babitseng being suspended from any football activities by the Botswana Football Association (BFA), this week.

The embattled Babitseng has a long-standing battle with the BFA, stemming from alleged misappropriation of funds during his time as an administrator at the football mother body. This week, the BFA wrote to Gunners informing the BTC Premiership outfit of its (BFA) decision to suspend Babitseng.

However, the controversial chairman matter is just part of the Gunners bucket of issues as the team recently held a Special General Meeting (SGM) to address numerous issues that have been afflicting the Lobatse sleeping giants. In an interview this week, the Gunners Communication manager, Willoughby Kemoen said they did not address the suspension of their chairman as they received the letter from the BFA , which implicates the  teams of some  wrong doing only after their meeting.

However, Kemoen said they have acknowledged receiving the letter and will be waiting for further communications from the Association. Kemoen said it will be up to the Gunners acting president Jacob Sesinyi to call an Executive Committee meeting to address the issue of the Gunners chairman.  Meanwhile, Kemoen said the team will be under the guidance and direction of its board during such turbulent times.

“The president may later call a press conference to update the media on the state of the team,” Kemoen said. Some of the issues discussed at the Gunners SGM included co-opting the team membership to fill up positions that were vacant in the executive committee. The vacant positions that have since been filled include Team manager, Vice chairman, Marketing manager, treasurer and Club president. 

Top of the Gunners executive committee agenda includes that of the technical sponsor contract, which is expected to be reviewed before the team’s General Assembly in July.  The technical sponsor for Gunners is currently 90min plus, a local sports apparel company, which Kemoen explains has found a running contract with the technical sponsor when they took over. “We have engaged a local attorney, Ian Kebopetswe to amend the Gunners constitution to accommodate commercialisation.”

Furthermore, Gunners are seeking to drill their supporters against taking club matters to social media, which often decreases chances of securing sponsorship for the team. The SGM resolutions further address the debts that have been accumulated by the team recently. Kemoen explained that they will set up a sub-committee to lead with initiatives to fund raise for the club. This will help pay club debts including all former coaches and current players’ salaries.

Meanwhile, Kemoen said they are disappointed at the position the team currently occupies in the log standings with only one game left before the current season comes to a close. “We are currently in position nine with one game left against Sankoyo Bush Bucks in Maun. If we win this game, we might end up in the top eight brackets.”

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