Blue Ribbon franchise not for sale

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Financially-troubled Blue Ribbon Football Club has quashed recent media reports they were selling their franchise following withdrawal of their main sponsor Blue Ribbon Industries.

The milling company bankrolled the team in their maiden Premier Soccer League season, but decided to call it quits due to financial problems.
This had left the Harare club’s future unclear with reports stating the club’s executive were ready to sell the franchise.

It was further reported there were a number of clubs and individuals who were ready to take advantage, but it was alleged ambitious Central Region Division One team league team Ziscosteel were leading the race to swoop on the franchise.

However, Blue Ribbon secretary Isheanopa Ruvanza has told NewsDay Sport the club is not for sale.

In fact, Ruvanza said they had started negotiations with some prospective sponsors and preparations for the new season had commenced.

“Those were just reports, but the truth of the matter is that we are not selling the franchise,” said Ruvanza.

“There are two big companies that have shown interest in sponsoring us. We should be meeting those companies on Monday (today),” said Ruvanza.

Blue Ribbon severed ties with coach Misheck Chidzambwa at the end of last season after the former Warriors coach failed to meet the club’s target of finishing the season in the top eight. The Tambawakaguta Boys finished on ninth position.

Team manager Wishes Shiridzinomwa is holding fort.
The uncertainty at the club has left players frustrated with a number of big names having already deserted the club.

Captain Daniel Kamunhenga has signed for Hwange, vice-captain James Jam has joined Motor Action, striker Tineyi Chitora is now at Dynamos, defender Brighton Tuwaya has left, midfielder Cabby Kamhapa was snapped by FC Platinum while Eria Phiri is reported to be at Shabanie Mine.

“It was unfortunate that some of the regular players left the team and we were left with 13 players from our last season.

“But we have since promoted some juniors into the senior team and we are in the process of blending them in. We are hoping there will be a team
when the season starts,” said Ruvanza.

Blue Ribbon last week played Gunners in a friendly match and won 3-1.