Amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has brought football to a standstill Botswana football has something outside the pitch to smile about. Botswana Football Association has taken the route to fast track the professionalization of its elite league.
The transformation roadmap is part of the BFA vision that will see clubs being run professionally and as commercially viable entities.
The BFA, President Maclean Letshwiti has told premier league teams that it is time team’s move away from the society model. He explained that even FIFA has a professionalization department that deals specifically with helping the teams change.
“Mamelodi has been tasked with engaging the Botswana Premier League clubs on various elements including governance and other pertinent matters. The club engagement previously scheduled for April but had to be postponed on account of the covid-19 pandemic is expected to be completed by end of July.” the BFA president has divulged
Botswana has started engaging the elite league teams on June 30, 2020 with a view to prepare them to be commercial entities. The project is being run by former FIFA Development officer, Ashford Mamelodi through his consultancy.
The engagement teaches the clubs about problems in football and certain structures at club level. Mamelodi has talked about resistance to change by clubs in Botswana like in many other undeveloped nations.
“There is need for a full-fledged structure with experts who can be brought together to deal with their area of speciality. This includes communication, finances and marketing.” Mamelodi presented during the first three sessions of leading clubs Gaborone United and Township Rollers.
The challenges of clubs as it became clear are different and it looked like Botswana top clubs are faced with more challenges than the smaller followed clubs.
“Leadership is key in clubs. Governance is a key thing in football as is in any business. There is need for clubs to choose their preferred types of structures.” Mamelodi said when engaging another club Prisons X1 which is a team of warders but registered as a society.
Mamelodi also taught the teams the FIFA structure and the different roles of a confederation and a regional member.
“There is need to have a strategic plan which can lure investors to it or not. Without a plan you do not have guidance and you can’t implement anything. Governance is the system by which organisation’s are directed and managed. It influences how the objectives of the organisation are set and achieved, spells out the rules and procedures for making organisational decisions, determines the means of optimising and monitoring performance, including how risk is monitored and assessed.” Mamelodi shared what the Australian Sports Commission believed in at some point when they went through the Botswana football part.
Mamelodi has also emphasised on the five principles of good governance. This he said will include ‘providing leadership, controlling the organisation, being transparent and accountable, working effectively and behaving with integrity.’
The clubs were also told to have a Conflict of Interest Policy that should affect both the board members and staff. Mamelodi revealed that no influence should be allowed that conflicts with the best interest of the organization or prejudice the organization reputation.
“It’s all about how you develop strategic goals and direction. How the leadership monitors the performance of the organisation to ensure it achieves this strategy. Clubs must ensure that they are led by people with the right credentials for specific reasons” Mamelodi said as he was running the club engagements.
He challenged all the clubs to have good governance and not compromise growth and the need to turn around how they have been doing things in the past.