AT A time most local clubs are struggling to cope with the devastating effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Dynamos chairperson Isiah Mupfurutsa has praised their sponsors for bringing stability to the Harare giants.
The pandemic has devastated the global economy and most local clubs are reeling from the meltdown, with some on the brink of collapse due to the coronavirus lockdown which has been in place since March 30.
The government has said the lockdown will continue for the foreseeable future.
Ever since the novel virus broke out, a number of Castle Lager Premiership teams have been hit by significant financial woes.
Remaining afloat for most clubs during such times with a lot of uncertainty is now a big challenge because of the huge running costs associated with fulfilling their contractual obligations to players, coaches and staff.
The 2020 season should have commenced in March but at the moment there is no indication when football would be allowed to resume.
With most teams relying on gate takings to stay afloat, the lockdown has greatly affected their revenue generation capabilities.
Harare giants CAPS United and their Bulawayo counterparts Highlanders were the laughing stock of the league after they were bailed out with donations from various well wishers last month.
At Makepekepe the situation is even worse after the players recently complained they had last received half salaries in April as the club is failing to honour its obligations.
However, at Dynamos there has been relative calm on the financial front due to their lucrative sponsorship deal with Golden Leaf Tobacco, which is now in its second year.
The Glamour Boys’ benefactor has even gone a step further, adjusting players’ salaries according to the prevailing economic conditions.
Mupfurutsa is very grateful to the impact Golden Leaf Tobacco’s sponsorship has had on the club during this tough period.
“I think for us, we have been very fortunate because of our sponsorship. It is an important and valuable asset to us,” Mupfurutsa told the Daily News.
“Our sponsors have been generous to us. They have contributed a lot, especially in this tough environment.
“Remember, it was because of our sponsors that we were able to acquire players as well as paying operating expenses.
“We are in the third month since the lockdown started but they have been paying our salaries in full. More importantly, our package has been moving in line with what is prevailing in the economy and surely, we couldn’t ask for more.
“So, I can safely say our sponsors have allowed us to maintain the calmness which is there at the moment.”
During the pre-season, DeMbare went on a shopping spree as coach Tonderai Ndiraya completely overhauled the side, which finished a disappointing ninth last season.
Partson Jaure, Nkosi Mhlanga, Lennox Mutsetse, Tanaka Chidhobha and Taimon Mvula were the Glamour Boys’ early signings.
They went on to snatch the former ZPC Kariba duo of Sylvester Appiah and Tino Chiunye.
DeMbare also signed Barnabas Mushunje, Juan Mutudza, David Temwanjira, Albert Eonde and King Nadolo.
After such a huge outlay on new players, there is no doubt the Glamour Boys will be one of the contenders for the title when the 2020 campaign finally kicks off.
With the club looking solid on the playing front, Mupfurutsa said their next task is to ensure they shore up on the commercial front in order to unlock more revenue streams.
Despite being the most successful team in the domestic game and attracting a huge following, DeMbare have over the years failed to unlock their true commercial value.
“We appreciate the support that we are getting from our sponsors and we urge our fans to support our sponsors in every way,” Mupfurutsa said.
“We are on to something huge and we need to go the commercial route.
“Already, we have club t-shirts that are on sale and we urge our supporters to buy them because each time they buy, they are boosting the club’s coffers.
“We pray that the pandemic does not last for long. It has kind of affected our business plans in a big way but we are hopeful things will normalise soon.
“The club will soon have its own outlet to sell the team’s regalia. For now, we have partnered with certain outlets for distribution.”