BY HENRY MHARA
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League team Yadah Stars has been put up for sale just two years into the top-flight, with owner Walter Magaya of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries, saying he now needed to concentrate on bankrolling national football teams and also focus on his other business interests.
The club won promotion in 2017 and finished on 13th position on the log table on both occasions that it has participated in the league.
Their below par performance, though, had nothing to do with lack of investment, with reports suggesting that the club was one of the best-resourced in the country.
Magaya, who is the major sponsor for Zifa, providing accommodation and meals at his luxurious Yadah Hotel to all the national football teams every time they are in camp, says he now wants to put all his efforts in that direction and his church.
He has picked the national senior men’s football team in particular, which he says he wants to help reach the top level.
The PHD Ministries leader says he won’t rest until the Warriors reach the World Cup finals.
“The club is up for sale,” Yadah Stars consultant Wellington Mupandare said.
“His (Magaya’s) decision to sell the club does not mean that he won’t be supporting sports and football anymore. Already, he is involved in football with the national team.
“His objective when he formed the club was to remove youths off the streets and he will continue to do so. Remember, he has more than 50 cell groups with more than 15 000 people each across the country and also has other different sporting disciplines which he is still supporting. He still owns and supports volleyball, handball, basketball, netball and rugby teams.”
Mupandare, who is also the Warriors team manager, added: “He is doing a lot and wants to concentrate on areas that have a lot of people. But above all, he wants to put more effort in national teams. His dream is to see the Warriors qualify for the World Cup. He is also helping the Young Warriors, and has in the past extended his helping hand to the Mighty Warriors.”
Besides providing accommodation to the national teams, Magaya has previously paid players’ allowances and bonuses.
Mupandare said Yadah Stars would continue fulfilling their league matches as they scout for new owners. Sources said Magaya had already started holding talks with prospective buyers.
Yadah started the current league campaign on a losing note, going down 2-0 away to league returnees Hwange in their season opener last weekend.
They host Chicken Inn at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
The idea of selling the club started last season when Magaya contemplated donating the franchise. In the end, he pushed on until the end of the season.