PREMIERSHIP football champions Dynamos said they were still hopeful of getting a sponsor before the start of their 2014 Caf Champions League campaign, a day after their principal sponsors BancABC said they would not bankroll the 20-time Zimbabwean champions’ Caf Champions League campaign.
Addressing a Press conference in the capital yesterday, club’s chairman Keni Mubaiwa launched a passionate appeal for support from all stakeholders including the media to assist them. Mubaiwa, who was flanked by his deputy David Mandigora and the club’s secretary-general Webster Chikengezha, said:
“We received the letter from BancABC on Wednesday evening and it was only yesterday that we started running around to look for sponsors. So far from what I have heard from the people we have spoken to they are willing to sponsor us and you will see as time goes.
“We were hoping that our sponsor BancABC was going to sponsor us for the Champions League, but unfortunately they said they would not do that. Seeing that as Dynamos we are the champions and don’t want to let down our fans we have decided to participate without a sponsor.
Caf we would have had one or two sponsors coming on board.
“In fact we started running around to look for potential sponsors yesterday (Thursday) and we hope the media will also assist us in getting a sponsor and that’s the reason we called for this press conference”, he said. Mubaiwa also took the opportunity to thank BancABC for their support and said they had no hard feelings towards the financial institution’s decision as they fully understood their reasons for not committing to bankroll their campaign.
“They (BancABC) poured in a lot of money for us to be where we are,” Chikengezha added. “They have been with us for the past three years and have actually made us win the league for three years in a row. We would also like to thank them for the commitment they have already shown for the 2014 season,” Chikengezha said.
Chikengezha revealed that in addition to looking for a sponsor the club would also engage in fundraising activities. “We are currently in discussions with a consultancy company to help us do some fundraising activities. Within the next few days you will be getting some information on what’s going on and how we are going to be raising the funds.
“It’s no longer about Dynamos, but the country itself. We believe that by participating in the Champions League we will also be assisting the national team because of the experience which will be gained. The benefits of us competing out weigh the benefits of not competing and that’s why we made that decision,” he said. The last time Dynamos participated in the Champions League without a sponsor the club was dogged by player boycotts over unpaid salaries and bonuses. However, Mubaiwa said they had also discussed the issue with the players and they were fully behind the team’s leadership.
“For the past three years that I’ve been chairman at Dynamos there have been no such things (boycotts). So I don’t expect players to boycott because we are in the Champions League. They must also be happy because it is good for them because they stand to gain a lot of exposure.
Chikengezha also added that the team’s executive had met with coach Kalisto Pasuwa, who had already given them a list of potential targets before the Caf Champions League player registration deadline on December 31.