NEWLY-promoted Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side Mutare City Rovers have been plunged into a financial quagmire after council tabled $220 000 to be shared among various sporting disciplines for 2018.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The team endured a difficult year in Division One, but managed to win the sole ticket in the Eastern Region Division One League.
Recently, disgruntled players besieged town clerk Joshua Maligwa’s office demanding their dues. The players were demanding their October salaries and winning bonuses, which the council managed to settle.
Maligwa has told the team to look elsewhere for sponsorship to augment the provisional sponsorship package.
The $220 000 purse is set to cater for netball, inter-cities games, tug-of-war and women soccer, among other sporting activities.
The inter-cities games alone could gobble about $50 000, while netball and women soccer also need $50 000.
‘’We are facing a headache because Mutare City Council offered us a $220 000 budget for 2018 and that will include all sporting activities. For soccer, we are only going to get around $80 000 and it’s not enough for the whole season,” an insider said.
‘’In our maiden season in 2016, we were given $180 000 and it was not enough, so it’s a big challenge we are facing.’’
Sources said that the football team had submitted a budget of $560 000.
What they will get will fall far short of the top-flight requirements, as they have to travel as far as Bulawayo, Kariba and Harare.
Mutare City Rovers FC spokesperson Clayton Masekesa said the issue of sponsorship would be addressed as the season progresses.
“We want to thank Mutare City Council for the sponsorship. We understand that the economic situation is not favourable, the Premier Soccer League budget is huge and we are hoping that the situation will be resolved as the season progresses. We, therefore, call for the corporate world to partner us in sponsoring our beloved team,’’ he said.
Masekesa also said coaches Tichaona Diya and Joseph Takaringofa had expressed interest in coaching the local municipality side.