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Plotting of premier proportions

*BFL shareholders to meet on Saturday

Having finally been granted the power to run its affairs independently at the BFA’s General Assembly last weekend, the Botswana Football Premier League (BFL) company are keen to make up for lost time.

Officially registered with CIPA on 3 August, the company is set to hold its first shareholders meeting this Saturday.

The conference will be a virtual affair, with the shareholders – representatives of the 16 Premier League teams – expected to appoint a board that will run the company.

Speaking to Voice Sport this week, BFL Sponsorship and Transformation Committee Spokesperson, Kelesitse Gilika reiterated that the setting up of BFL as a company means the Premier League and First Division are now a stand alone entity. The company will run its errands independently from the BFA.

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Gilika admitted it proved a timely process transforming teams and administrators but he believes the BFL are finally in a position to commit to potential sponsors.

“This project was initially suggested in 2015 but nothing happened. We are happy that finally we were given autonomy. Now we are independent to negotiate contracts and sponsorships and make partnerships. This means football is no longer just a game but business. It is now upon clubs as the shareholders to be prepared to make money,” he explained, stressing that not all board members will be ‘football people’.

“This is business so we need experts. We are also going to set up a secretariat so as a company we will advertise the vacancies and those who qualify will be hired to run the day-to-day business of the company,” said Gilika, who is also the Chairman of Gilport Lions.

Explaining why it has taken over two months for the shareholders to meet, Gilika said, “We were only waiting for the general assembly for approval and now it is time to hit the ground running!”

Bursting with excitement at what the future might hold for domestic football in Botswana, he added, “This will take clubs professionalism to the highest level; elite league players not being paid their salaries will be a thing of the past!”

Gilika is adamant the move has came about at the right time and is not worried that major sponsorships – including BTC’s affiliation with the league and Mascom’s Top 8 deal – have come to an end.

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The charismatic chairman further revealed one of the topics to be discussed at Saturday’s meeting includes logistics over the new season.

During last Saturday’s assembly, the BFA rejected a motion to change the local football season from August – May to February – November.

Gilika said they will get guidance from the shareholders after sharing their progress report as the committee.

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