THE situation at Caps United is dire. That, players had to travel for a match in batches and in a supporter’s truck for the weekend encounter with Buffaloes shows that things are extremely not well at the club. Besides, the centre, players and coach Mark Harrison cannot hold on any longer.
First, they failed to fulfil a match against How Mine last month in Bulawayo and the match against Buffaloes on Sunday at Sakubva in Mutare was almost called off because the players and the technical team are owed huge amounts of money.
It’s unfortunate when this has to happen to Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Twine Phiri because as the owner and president of the club, it reflects badly on his leadership capabilities as he also runs the 16-team league.
Whether the PSL is run by the secretariat, Phiri still remains the head honcho of the league. So, his degree of culpability is huge in the ignominy at Caps.
It’s either, Phiri and Caps have to change their modus operandi or they will fold before the end of the season. The formula they have is clearly not marketable and some self-introspection is required for them to move forward.
Why are companies staying away from the Caps brand? What is being done by other top-flight teams that Caps cannot do? Could it be greed that’s making Caps refuse to work with a cross-section of other interested financiers to save Caps from collapse? Besides, why are fans no longer coming to their home matches?
Clearly, there must be something wrong in the Caps ownership, control or administration that needs urgent attention. World football governing body Fifa and continental body Caf have always stated that Club Licensing is the way forward because the game is a business.
Clubs must operate like businesses and make profits through television and broadcast rights and player sales propagated by a proper youth set-up and alternative revenue streams.
Isn’t it ironic that Phiri could arrange television and broadcasting rights for the 16 league clubs, but can’t do it for his club?
To say a club as old as Caps United has failed to transform into a business and be able to establish a football club, sports bars, gym and catering services or create other revenue streams, speaks volumes about their approach to the game. It is time Caps should adapt or sink.
While Phiri was able to hang on for almost a decade, he has made fundamental blunders that have the potential to kill the club hence ex-board members Lewis Uriri and Nhamo Tutisani have asked the club to liquidate over $143 000 debts to the club.
Uriri and Tutisani should perhaps look at the way forward so as not to disband the club. They both should find common ground with Phiri and see how they can recoup their cash seeing that the players must also survive.
It is an established fact that Farai Jere is also owed millions of dollars, hence Phiri should not be in the habit of mortgaging the club each time he requires cash because this has a huge detriment on the players, their families and the fans.
The goings-on at Caps shows that it is time for Phiri to call it quits and let other capable football administrators run the club while he remains in the background.
It must be pointed out that all those that have been pouring cash into Caps have faith in the club, hence they must also be given time to reconfigure one of the country’s oldest football clubs.
Caps United is the third biggest franchise in local football after Dynamos and Highlanders in terms of success and fan base and cannot be allowed to fold. Not because of Phiri’s shenanigans nor bankruptcy as demanded by Uriri and Tutisani. But also Phiri’s failures must stop to allow the club to flourish. He must change his management style. FC Platinum and Highlanders have done it before, why not follow their example?