The entry of cash rich platinum miners FC Platinum (formerly Mimosa) into the Premier Soccer League sent shivers across the rest of the teams in the top flight.
Motor Action, after winning their inaugural title in 2010, were the first to feel the financial muscle on the Implants subsidiary after losing Charles Sibanda and Bheki Ncube, two players instrumental in ending their cup drought.
Dynamos, participants in the Africa Champions League like Motor Action, saw Benjamin Marere, Murape Murape and Washington Arubi fly into another cash-rich project — Northern Region Division One side Highfield United’s nest.
Khumbulani Banda and Thabani Kamusoko were snared by FC Platinum as Dynamos tried to raise 25 players for their Champions League campaign.
All these problems emanated from lack of cash from the biggest brand in local football — or perhaps the biggest unexplored and mismanaged brand.
Today, Dynamos secretary-general Oliver Manyau speaks on the players’ flight from their nest, the Champions League, the “supposed war” between the executive committee led by Farai Munetsi and the board chaired by Richard Chiminya, the technical team and sponsorship issues after major funder Savanna Tobacco pulled out last year.
“Following the Harare Declaration of 2009 aimed at pushing the clubs in the Premiership towards professionalism, we had to register 25 players for the 2011 season. We have done that and basically the 25 players for the Champions League are the same players for the Premiership campaign.
“From the 25 players, only five are on loan — Washington Arubi, Denver Mukamba, Murape Murape, Maxwell Nyamupanedengu and Devon Chafa. The rest belong to Dynamos and we are talking about two to three-year contracts here.
“Charles Chiutsa is now a Dynamos player, but there are certain conditions that we have to meet from his former club Monomotapa.”
On the Champions League, the former PSL treasurer said:
“We have five players in the Chan squad: Washy, Archford Gutu, Charles (, Guthrie Zhokinyi and Denver Mukamba, which shows we are a competitive outfit and obviously their experience from Sudan will rub off into our Champions League campaign.
“Training begins on Monday and we have set up a challenge match against Motor Action on the weekend of March 6-7 when they (Motor Action) prepare for the second leg. We will curtain-raise for the match between football legends and musicians.
“We are also hoping to organise a couple of matches before we start our campaign because we have some tough teams coming ahead in the competition.”
Having lost Savanna Tobacco as their major sponsor, Manyau said they should be able to tie up a new deal in the next couple of weeks.
“We should be able to unveil our sponsors for the 2011 season by next week. We are looking beyond this season. As you know, our 50th anniversary is in 2013, so we need something that will take us up there.
“It’s not easy to get sponsorship, but it also depends on how you present your case. Sometimes you can get a full package that will cover most of your basics.”
In the run-up to last week’s Saturday meeting, two issues came up — the fight between the executive and the board which had been propagated by the Munetsi and his executive’s decision to propose the floating of shares to raise funds for the team.
The“war” had actually started last year when there was word that the board wanted to fire the executive due to the team’s poor results both in the league and the Champions League. Elvis “Chuchu” Chiweshe was the head coach at that time and was under pressure to deliver.
Despite winning three trophies — the Independence Trophy, Zaoga Golden Jubilee Charity Shield and the BancABC Super Eight — they failed to land the league championship after falling 1-0 to Kiglon in a key match. Lloyd Mutasa, now the Dynamos coach, was Kiglon boss at that time.
“We have never tried to usurp the powers of the board. All we did was to present a paper to the board on how we think we can capitalise the club. We are employed by the board; they make the policies and we run the club on a day-to-day basis.
“There is a clear mandate between the board and the executive and we (executive) know our limits; we report to the board and we also advise them on various issues.”
To the fans: “A lot has been said about the preparedness of the team for both the Champions League and the local league. I can say we have a full and competitive squad of 25 players and we will do our talking on the field of play.
“To our valued and prospective sponsors I say: ‘We will give you the mileage you deserve’. As long as the team is well funded, there will be no player mutiny, no player boycotts and you get the maximum visibility you deserve. We will also implement various strategies to safeguard the big Dynamos brand and deliver quality football to our fans and stakeholders.”