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BPL clubs hold tête-à-tête

Publishing Date : 17 February, 2020

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

Derek Blanckensee, South Africa’s former Premier Soccer League (PSL) General Manager, is anticipated to workshop Botswana Premier League (BPL) clubs in a closed session in an overwhelming attempt meant to change the landscape of the local elite game.

Derek Blanckensee, South Africa’s former Premier Soccer League (PSL) General Manager, is anticipated to workshop Botswana Premier League (BPL) clubs in a closed session in an overwhelming attempt meant to change the landscape of the local elite game.Sources knowledgeable about the details of the meeting informed WeekendSport that Blanckensee comes at the invitation of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, Maclean Letshwiti.

Blanckensee will be a guest speaker among other rank and file members of FIFA delegation.The main agenda of the session is to discuss a suitable club ownership model to fast track local football commercialisation. The 16 clubs are going into the meeting having chosen the self-regulation model and are expected to be lectured by the former general manager on other football models he may deem important and suitable for the domestic game.

Blanckensee is one of the most experienced administrators in the South African football game and has been with the PSL from 2010 till July of last year. Among other tasks, he fine-tuned the PSL match operations in line with international FIFA standards.He gained extensive knowledge as CEO of Bidvest Wits, with his administration career having started back in 1978 when he was the secretary of the Wits University Junior Football Club. Blanckensee, who took over from Ace Ncobo, was the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organizing committee’s

Chief Competitions Officer and his duties included overseeing stadium readiness, team services, venue management and tournament operations.He left the PSL offices under a cloud as it was understood all was not well in his office, which handled departmental football operations including the registration of players and teams.The man is also coming to force and convince this BPL board to form a private company. This will enable them to work independently and also help them to generate income. 

The company once registered, will be affiliated to the association and will be expected to pay license fee. This is the same route taken by South African premiership when traversing the commercialisation route. When a league becomes a private company, each club is seen as a shareholder and this, more often than not, builds better relationship with other companies to pump more money into the league.Sources also indicate that the board has studied one other football model similar to that of South Africa.

The prototype football structure was first adopted by Kenya.The Kenyan model which sources say is the preferred one by the association as it turned around the football fortunes.  The Premier League clubs took advantage of the conflict between the Government and the FA and divorced itself totally from the FA and formed a company called the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) owned by all the Clubs equally, as in England, with a unique structure of having only the Chairmen representing the Clubs in the Board with no deputies,  acting Chairmen, representatives for absentees and the Chairman of the Board is automatically- the Chairman of the winning team of the previous League assuming the position.

It has ensured that the clubs appoint Chairmen suitable for such honour and since the League is owned by them as share-holders, they are bound to be transparent and accountable, and individually they serve as a check on each other. Expenditures are approved by the Board whilst the Secretariat handles all administrative works. Their only form of revenue is the TV Rights sold to Super Sport for $ 500,000 in the first year, which has now been renewed at about $ 2 million a year.

Currently in Botswana, the League Board is made of sixteen Premier League Chairpersons. There is a board of Executive Committee which the Premier League Chairman and his Vice are part of. There is also a Chief Executive Officer who happens to head the league secretariat.BFA, BPL Board Chairman are all unavailable for comment when the paper was going for print.
 

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