Sport

Poor corporate governance at the core of Zim sport problems

• PSL urges SRC to expedite licencing policies

MONA -LISA DUBE

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has called on government arm, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to expedite formulation of policies around club licencing and corporate governance to enable the country turn sport into serious business, BTSport can report.

SRC oversee the general running of sports in Zimbabwe.

While sport is now big business the world over, corporate failures in Zimbabwe have been rampant largely due to poor corporate governance tenets.

Speaking during Business Unusual radio programme on ZiFMStereo, PSL chief executive officer, Kenny Ndebele, said sport has evolved dramatically in the last few years and there have been huge developments towards commercialisation of the sport, especially football.

But, the integrity of the sport has been subject to significant scrutiny because of poor corporate governance, which has been hampering progress and has become one of the major reasons why sports particularly football in Zimbabwe was struggling to generate significant revenues.

He said this could be solved if the SRC could expedite the formulation of licencing policies to guide associations.

Most sports administrators lack an understanding of the role of corporate governance in preventing club failures.

“I think we are still at an infancy level, maybe we are not structuring in a manner where we can then call it a massive business.

We have the talent, we have the facilities, we have administrators, we all recognise that sport is a business but then how to grow it is what we need to look at holistically together with the government coming up with policies and also the sport organisations themselves have good corporate governance,” Ndebele said.

Ndebele added: “On club licensing we are saying if someone wants to establish a business organisation which is called a football club they need to meet certain requirements, yes it is provided for in the act at the moment but it has to really create an enforceable situation that you don’t have someone waking up in the morning saying they are forming a football club, plays in the premier league for six months, it falls just like that and that’s the end of it.”

SRC director general, Prince Mupazviriho, who also spoke on the ZiFMStereo show, also bemoaned poor corporate governance in the sector.

He also said the reason why sport has not been as profitable as it should be in Zimbabwe was because most people “consider sport to be leisure hence failing to give it the seriousness it deserves to monetize it”.

Mupazviriho promised to deal with the issue of poor corporate governance.

“When we were growing up sport was never taken as a business; it was taken as a past time but now we know that it is serious business.

Because of that realisation, we are now drifting to sport as a socio- economic activity and this is what we are currently dealing with on how we can structure it,” Mupazviriho said.

He added: “We want to make sure there is good corporate governance in the sector.

The moment we have good corporate governance in the sector it means you are also attracting corporate sponsorship, and with that corporate sponsorship this is where issues to do with television rights comes in.

Corporate sponsors want to be associated with order.” In 2017, South African broadcaster, SuperSport, ended its fiveyear marriage with the PSL, which had helped market the Zimbabwean game and financially improved the clubs coffers.

Through beaming of the game to millions of viewers across the continent, Zimbabwe’s game also improved in terms of entertainment.

Ndebele said SuperSport pulled out of the deal because it was downsizing and also because Zimbabwe failed to meet its side of the deal.

Currently, Zimbabwe’s PSL does not have a broadcasting partner. Ndebele said PSL are working to re-gage SuperSport.

But, he said there have not been any fruitful results at the moment.

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