The football privatisation revolution that is currently sweeping across the local premier league clubs has now arrived at Gaborone based Notwane FC. This after GMG Holdings Botswana announced this week to have acquired an 80% stake in the club.
The development follows quickly after similar privatisation moves were made at Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and, albeit controversially, at BMC FC. Addressing members of the press this week in Gaborone, GMG Holdings representative Kealeboga Mogapi said 20% of the club will be available for other investors and the Notwane family. Mogapi, who described GMG as global holding company, said he was convinced the partnership with Notwane will resurrect a sleeping giant of local football.
The local businessman revealed that he started supporting the team after business interests between the two began. “I appreciate the history and the culture at the team,” he said. Flanked by the Notwane Chairman Segolame Ramotlhwa and other GMG Holdings officials, Mogapi said there had been an unlikelihood that other investors would take over the club considering its position in the recent premier league log standings. “We have taken a well-calculated decision. We have realised there will be challenges ahead as a company,” he said.
The businessman said they intended to resource the ailing Gaborone outfit to the best of their ability so that it performs at the highest level. “We want Notwane to be a football brand that wins the hearts of Batswana and beyond. We want to participate in regional and continental competitions. This time we will not take anything less than position eight in the log,” he said, adding that they have ambitions enough to aim for fourth position in the league next season. Mogapi also vowed that no player will start the next season without a contract and that salaries will be paid on time.
The company also intends to resurrect Notwane development structures, which were previously among the most respected in the country. Full details of the transaction between the two parties will be revealed at a later date. Ramotlhwa, Notwane’s Chairman, said they were not expecting any shenanigans after the privatisation initiative. He explained that thorough consultation had been made with team supporters since 2009.
“There has been more than adequate consultation with supporters,” Ramotlhwa said, adding that even team elders had been informed. Late last year, Notwane went into partnership with local insurance group First Sun Alliance. The company sponsored the team with a Kia sedan.