BY FORTUNE MBELE
Spanish football side Real Betis have consolidated their presence in Zimbabwe by establishing a partnership with local topflight club FC Platinum.
This follows the establishment of a football academy in the country.
The move will enhance FC Platinum’s professional outlook as the agreement between the two clubs also entails that they can tap in skills in finance in professional football, fan engagement and monetisation of social media platforms.
Real Betis announced the partnership on their official website.
“Real Betis Balompié have signed a collaboration agreement with FC Platinum, the main football team in Zimbabwe. This partnership will be aimed to common growth by sharing information and methodology. The African club will increase their expertise in fields such as fan engagement; the use of big data; monetisation in social media; youth teams management, digital transformation; or new ways of revenue applied to professional football,” the statement reads..
The Spanish club is already in the country following the establishment of the Betis football academy, launched in Harare last year.
The academy is the brainchild of former Sables player Gerald Sibanda under his Athletes Sphere Management.
FC Platinum officials and Sibanda are in Spain.
Real Betis admire the transformation that FC Platinum have made.
“This agreement comes after the strengthening of Real Betis’ presence in Africa following the creation of Betis Academy Zimbabwe. FC Platinum are the most powerful team in Zimbabwe in recent years. They have won the last three editions of the Zimbabwe Premier League (2017, 2018 and 2019) and taken part in the Caf Champions League. The green club have experienced a great transformation in recent times.”
FC Platinum have seen their fan base grow over the years as they dominate the local topflight league.
They have won the last three league titles and have represented the country in Caf Champions League, but have struggled to make the mark at that level.
They aspire to be one of the biggest clubs in Africa in the future and their partnership with Real Betis can provide them with avenues.
In a statement confirming the partnership, FC Platinum said: “Betis include strategic planning, the business of football, digital transformation, and innovation as well as rationalising football post-COVID-19. The associate partnership comes with a massive and practical exchange program that will see both teams visit respective onsite trainings, and administration work with the goal of elevating the professional running of football at globally competitive standards. Currently, part of the FC Platinum executive is in Seville, Spain for the oﬃcial release of the agreement and tour of facilities.”
Club president Fabian Mashingaidze said: “Trophies are good yes! But we need to now speak oﬀ the pitch and start speaking of the actual business of football. Partnerships of this nature are the blueprint for the future of football in Zimbabwe, we need to emulate and improve. Admittedly, we have to put in the hours to prove our mettle on the regional platform but we have always believed in each and every step we have taken. Our African dream is alive and our future begins now.”
The Zvishavane-based sides have been one of the most professional sides on the local scene with sound financial backing from Mimosa mines.
- Follow Fortune on Twitter: @FortuneMbele