Table-topping Tafic may be flying high in the league but Matjimenyenga are low on cash and growing increasingly desperate.
Despite their sensational start to life in First Division North – unbeaten, with 10 wins out of 13 – the club’s well-documented money struggles continue to cause concern.
Speaking to Voice Sport this week, Tafic Chairman Carlos Sebina confirmed his team’s crippling cash shortage.
“We plead with the Francistown community to help us financially to be able to meet salaries and accommodation for our players. Dlala played an important role in dressing us. With kits we don’t suffer like when we started the season.
“However, we struggle a lot even to camp; we hustle even for water for drinking at the stadium. We still have those individuals and some companies that help here and there but we cannot have the same person to help on a daily basis when he is not the main sponsor,” explained Sebina, adding that football has proved it can contribute to the economy of Francistown.
“Just look at when the Zebras are playing here, there is a huge attendance. Even when Tafic was in the Premier League many people went to the stadium. Even Gaborone teams do not even make half the attendances Tafic do,” stressed the Reds Chair proudly.
According to Sebina, the recent shake-up of the club’s committee has proved rewarding.
“During games some stand at the gates to make sure whatever is paid at the gates is kept well. We have been making around P5, 600 at the gates and during Sua Flamingos game we made over P27, 000!”
Despite these improved gate-takings, the Francistown businessman noted that Tafic’s financial limitations have hampered the club in the transfer market, preventing them from signing certain players.
“The teams we are playing with are all financially stable. Flamingos and Morupule Wanderers are helped by mines so they are able to get the players they want because they have money!”
Sebina believes Tafic’s biggest asset is their name and the affinity Francistowners have for the team.
“No one will leave this place to watch Sua Flamingos but every person when you say Tafic is playing they go. Tafic is indeed a brand!” he exclaimed, citing the 200 odd fans who travelled to Pilikwe to support the team against Wanderers on Saturday as proof of his words.
When quizzed on why the club let star striker Mbatshi Elias leave for Orapa United, Sebina revealed the 23-year-old was set to become a free agent in six months anyway.
“He is a person, he has life and had to look for greener pastures. They finalised everything last week Friday and we made a great deal for him and us as Tafic. He left peacefully. We had meetings trying to negotiate something better for him. I think he will be fine with Orapa United,” concluded the charismatic chairman.
Elias had been with Tafic since 2013, and was in fine form this season, plundering nine goals. Despite Sebina’s assurances, his services will be sorely missed.