THE two contenders for the chairmanship of Highlanders Football Club have outlined their plans for the unsettled former Zimbabwean champions.
Mandla Moyo, a businessman and founder of Sparrows Football Club, and Themba Ndlela, managing director of Portland Cement in Gweru, will contest the election at the Bulawayo club’s AGM on February 2.
Both Moyo and Ndlela cited the reimbursement of US$27 000 owed to a club supporter and a travel agent as the main priority. Bosso incurred the costs during their Confederation Cup campaign last season.
Ndlela said he would first establish how the money was acquired and will only settle it if convinced that it was indeed used for the benefit of the club. He said he would mobilise resources from the club membership to pay back the money.
“We will have to rely on our creditors as a club to settle the debt,” Ndlela said. “If the debt belongs to the club then there is no need to blame the outgoing executive. We have to own up as a club.”
Moyo said he was already in negotiations with local businesspeople over the payment of the debt.
“I have already been promised funds by local businesspeople to settle the debt,” he claimed.
Both men promised to transform administration and technical structures at the club.
“To recapture the glory of Bosso, it is imperative to completely transform the administration and the technical side of the club by adding and introducing committees to regulate marketing and finance sectors in the club,” said Ndlela.
He added that there was an urgent need to revitalise the junior policy at the club.
He said for the club to thrive, there was a need to expand the “dwindling fan base through various incentives that we have in place.”
Moyo said a complete change in the administration was key to the success of the club.
“If the there is good governance within the executive body which promotes transparency, then it becomes easier for the club to acquire funds and endorsement deals which may help to pay off the debt of US$27 000 that the club needs to settle.”
He added that the club needed to return to its basic objectives, like resuscitating of the clubhouse.
“For Highlanders to return to what it was in the past, there is a need for the club to return to using the clubhouse for training andÂ to resume camping before matches.”
Last season attendances at Highlanders matches waned significantly due to poor performance.
Said Moyo: “To improve that, my main strategy is to introduce liquor outlet discounts, merchandise discounts and meal outlet discounts at the clubhouse.”
The Highlanders chairmanship election became a two horse-race after incumbent club boss Ernest Sibanda withdrew his candidature a fortnight ago.
There will also be elections to choose a new secretary-general. Incumbent Horace Ndubiwa, Andrew Tapela and Charles Mashishi are contesting. Â
BY NICOLLETE DHLAMINI