Transfer window blurred by clubs’ debts

Neo Masanako - BG Correspondent
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
IN THE WOODS…BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang IN THE WOODS…BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang

The first week of the second registration, transfer and loaning of players for the 2018/2019-football season has seen only two clubs seeking clearance letters from the club Licensing First Instance Body (FIB). This is in light of Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s conditions that no premier league club with overdue payables such as employee remunerations and tax levies will be allowed to register new players.

The directive was effected this year and is to be implemented during the ongoing registration window that opened doors this past Wednesday.According to the FIB Secretary General, James Setete who spoke to BG Sport in an interview this week, only two clubs which he felt uncomfortable to mention by name, had declared that they have no overdue payables and the FIB Committee is still processing their submissions. 

Setete noted that they have a few check areas that they follow to ensure that indeed the team can be cleared to sign new players. The bold decisions taken by the BFA in conjunction with Botswana Premier League (BPL) is to ensure that clubs do not sign players while they still owe a significant number of their players. This has in the recent past come back to haunt the elite league with the games being disrupted on several occasions. Players would strike or abandon matches altogether decrying that they have not been paid their dues.

The identified weakness has been that teams often overspend, with players’ salaries alleged to be escalating to P30 000 per month, a player.  The BPL CEO Thabo Styles Ntshinogang has also on many occasions advised that teams should cut their cloth according to size. Saying it was not wise for teams to focus on signing a player that the club cannot afford to pay. The tendency had left many clubs near bankruptcy and sinking deep in debt.

Meanwhile, Setete has warned that even though it is still in the early days, and not certain how many teams are actually interested in signing new players, clubs should refrain from false declaration during the transfer window.  He explained that should teams be tempted and somehow try to cheat the system, they might land in trouble.

Depending on the extent of the offence, a team might get off with a warning, a fine not exceeding P10 000 or even demotion to lower structures in the worst -case scenarios. Meanwhile, the first game in 2019, following the festive break is a match against Orapa United and Prisons XI today at Itekeng Stadium

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