Gaborone United’s troubles look set to rumble on as the club’s branch chairmen and interim committee clash over the return of controversial former Director, Nicholas Zakhem.
Just recently the cash-strapped Money Machine was slapped with a USD5, 000 (P50, 000) fine by FIFA for failing to pay one of its former players, Bismarck Appiah as the football body ordered.
The fine stems back to 2016 when FIFA ordered GU to pay the Ghanaian forward USD39, 500 (P395, 000) in unpaid dues and for a breach of contract.
The club were told to pay the money with interest of 5% annually and are expected to fulfil both the fine and cash they owe Appiah by the 26th of August.
As the deadline fast approaches, the bankrupt club find themselves undecided on whether they should bring back their former sponsor Zakhem or not.
The chairmen from different branches across the country went behind the elders committee and approached the millionaire businessman ‘to save the club’.
Their action angered GU’s anti-Zakhem faction, who are convinced the businessman has designs on becoming the team’s President and plans to ‘cause trouble’ to scare other potential investors away.
“If indeed he cares about our club why is he not engaging the committee? He just wants to divide us and the chairmen support him to be in power. According to our constitution one has to be a member for about two years so he does not qualify as he only got his new membership recently,” pointed out one of the disgruntled members.
Speaking to Voice Sport, GU Secretary General Kennedy Ramojela said the chairmen told them Zakhem – who first became involved with Moyagoleele in 2006 – is interested in rescuing the club.
According to Ramojela, the confusion is because some want him to own the club whilst others just want him to come on board as a sponsor.
However, attempting to defuse the mounting tension that threatens to derail the six-time Premier League Champion’s season before a ball has been kicked in anger, Ramojela stressed that GU is a society and therefore cannot be owned by one person.
“We can only lease the club not give it to him unless we dissolve the society and form a company. The constitution will guide the committee to make the right decision,” he reasoned optimistically.
With the League scheduled to start on August 18 and Moyagoleele’s Appiah deadline soon after, Ramojela is aware the situation is fast becoming critical.
“Time is not on our side; we desperately need assistance from anyone willing to help is welcome. We met the chairman and Zakhem listened to their suggestion and promised to give feedback before the end of this week,” he revealed.
“Zakhem has always been helpful and about six of our players are staying at his flats which we are grateful for,” added the Secretary General.