- Those not staying at the club houses got an additional fee of P 1 000
- Players to receive the fees until December
- Rollers president attributes the low wages the club’s financial troubles caused by the COVID-19
- Also explains the players contracts situation
The damnable COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the sporting fraternity into deep financial troubles with football being no exception as information reaching Gazette Sport suggests that all players at Township Rollers were paid P3 500 at the end of July.
Rollers is regarded as one of the highest paying football clubs in Botswana with its highest paid player believed to be earning a little over P25 000. However, for the next few months (starting from July until December) all players at the club will be paid P3500 according to the club president Jagdish Shah, he told this publication in a telephone interview.
He said Rollers players are paid the fee (P3 500) because the team, just like many others in Botswana, is finding it difficult to generate revenue due to the suspension of football activities. Local teams usually make money from gate takings, replica shirt sales and monthly grants from the Botswana Premier League.
“Money is not coming in at all and the lock downs are not helping at all,” said Shah. “We also do not see the season starting any time soon, so it’s no doubt that we (football clubs) are going to be suffering for a long time. In the process we have given all players P3 500 for July and that is all we can do; we are going to be doing that for the next five months.”
Shah noted that the financial situation at the club is troubling further stating that the club is going to spend close to P1 million on salaries between July and December 2020. He told this publication in a previous interview this year that on a normal basis, the club’s monthly wage bill is between P350 000 and P400 000.
Nevertheless, Shah told this publication that despite the worrying financial situation, the club and the players are cultivating ways to see how they can best help each other. “Players understand that we are in a disastrous situation and they have accepted it. The good thing is that we are supporting each other and not fighting over finances,” he noted.
The Rollers president also told Gazette Sport that the players that do not stay at the club houses are going to be paid an additional fee of P1 000 on top of the P3 500. Popa enjoys the financial backing of tycoon Shah who owns many businesses, among them Jack’s Gym, Zebra Net and H & G Advertising. He is also a shareholder in one of Botswana’s biggest distribution companies, CA Sales.
SHAH CONFIRMS AND EXPLAINS FREEZING PLAYERS’ CONTRACTS
“People are misunderstanding our players’ contracts situation,” he said. “It is like this, the new season is going to be played from February to December instead of August to May as it has been the case and most of our players’ contracts were running with the league’s timing. After we learned of the new league structure we then requested everyone to extend their contracts by six months (July to December) on which they will be given P3 500 each.”