Contrary to public expectation, it seems Township Rollers does not need to dig deep into their coffers to host a South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) giant that is Kaizer Chiefs.
Rollers will play a friendly match against the SA based team at the newly built Jamali stadium in Tlokweng on Saturday afternoon. Information reaching BG Sport suggests that it took strategic negotiations led by Rollers president Jagdish Shah to strike a deal with Amakhosi. Speculation has always been rife that Rollers might be coughing up significant amounts of money as a result of playing Chiefs regularly.
“Not a single thebe will be paid by Rollers for hosting Kaizer Chiefs in Botswana, all expenses will be paid for by the visiting team,” a source that preferred anonymity said. However, Rollers Spokesperson Bafana Pheto, when reached said there was a ‘bill’ that comes with hosting Chiefs but refrained from sharing the figures and only hinted that it was not as steep, as one would imagine.
“We have a solid relationship with the team, so costs will be minimal because the two teams reached some agreements which will benefit both,” Pheto said. He would, however not go into detail what the agreement was. With that, it has now become regular since a few years ago, that Rollers and Chiefs meet up during pre -season preparations.
The Glamour boys as Chiefs is affectionately known is one of the most supported and successful teams in the PSL with more than 50 trophies to their name. The Amakhosi support base stretches across sub Saharan Africa with a following of more than 10 million. Botswana is no exception as there is a relatively large group that is very much faithful to the SA giant team. Playing in Botswana would surely come in handy, as Chiefs can be certain of a huge turn out coupled with Rollers’s equally colossal fan base. This publication understands that currently, not all is well at Amakhosi, having shockingly finished ninth last season, the worst performance in more than a decade.
TS Galaxy also added to their worries, stunning the Soweto team to win the Nedbank Cup Final, a loss to TS Galaxy left the Amakhosi family panicking wondering if the results were signs of dark days ahead. While in Botswana, Chiefs will be looking to reassure its wide net of supporters that the giant is not dying as they will be unveiling season 2019/20 new signings. Perhaps a few supporters from SA will also travel to Botswana to witness the season icebreaker. A fresh and balanced squad is the only thing that supporters feel is the missing link to return to their glory days.
Rollers will also on the day officially announce the full squad for the next season. Rollers returned from South Africa this past Thursday after playing friendly games against Super Sport United, Orbit College and National First Division (NFD) side of Royal Eagles. They also played Tanzanian Champions Simba on Thursday morning.
On Friday afternoon, the Glamour boys are expected to arrive in Botswana ahead of their Saturday clash.Tickets to the game are going at P100 grandstand and P75 elsewhere with the stadium said to be accommodating only 8 000 spectators. Notwane and Extension Gunners are expected to kick start the Saturday programme in the morning.