Bosso defy Covid-19 Highlanders board chairperson Luke Mnkandla (left), Modern Ngwenya (third from left) and Donald Ndebele follow proceedings during the Highlanders FC Annual General Meeting at the clubhouse on Sunday
  • 2020 revenue jumps 58pc despite inactivity
  • Sale of players, development fees biggest drivers

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ 2020 revenue increased by 58 percent despite inactivity caused by Covid-19.

According to the club’s audited financials, presented in local currency by club treasurer Donald Ndebele at Sunday’s annual general meeting, Highlanders’ income as at December 31, 2020, stood at $19 694 950 compared to $12 627 091 realised in 2019.

Highlanders’ revenue increased by $7 million despite not playing games due to a suspension of the country’s sport.

The biggest chunk of the revenue came from the sale of players and development fees.

Bosso sold Prince Dube to Azam FC of Tanzania and they paid US$50 000 which according to the audit report was equivalent to $4 104 545 using the official auction rate.

It was revealed in the financias that should Dube move from Azam, Highlanders are set to get 30 percent of the sale.

Michelle Katsvairo who moved to Botswana, bought himself out the Bosso contract for US$1 500 ($122 680).

Development fees paid to the Highlanders for Marvelous Nakamba and Teenage Hadebe earned the club $4 046 770.

The development fee for Nakamba’s move from Belgian side Club Brugge to English side Aston Villa was €44 171, with Bosso getting €35 326 (US$40 116) after the agent’s 20 percent commission.

According to the audit’s report, the balance paid to Highlanders was equal to $3 317 602 using the official exchange rate of 1:82.70.

The development fee for Hadebe’s move to Turkey’s Yeni Malatyspor was US$3 500 and after the agent’s fee, Highlanders received US$2 664 (an equivalent of $222 362 at an exchange rate of 83.50).

Highlanders indicated that they intend disposing some players to foreign leagues that are operational.

Bosso believe they have talent to attract foreign teams and will continue with their pursuit of selling players to generate revenue.

Having tasted the fruits of their development following compensation realised from Hadebe and Nakamba, Bosso will keep track of their junior products and seek compensation later.

Other revenue the club realised in 2020 came from sponsorship and TV rights ($2 920  166), gate takings for two friendly matches and Castle Cup Challenge against FC Platinum ($331 923) and donations which total $2 026 035. The debt clearance campaign that wiped out the club’s legacy debt was listed under donations and according to the audit report, it raised $1 127 799.

Auditors reported that the paltry $138 for 2019 TV rights was deposited in Bosso’s account last year.

Based on their contract with Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance, Highlanders were supposed to get $595 134 in 2020 but received $262 246 with the balance being paid in January 2021.

Still on sponsorship, NetOne, who terminated its contract last year, fulfilled its obligations by paying Highlanders $710 000 by April 2020.
Salaries gobbled most of the club’s income, taking $5 981 835.

Player allowances and sign-on fees respectively took $1 307 512 and $600 541.

Bosso also bought two vehicles at a cost of US$13 000.

This was registered under purchases, whose total is $2 319 304.

Board and executive allowances amounted to $98 122.

Meanwhile, Highlanders lost $265 543 to their clubhouse manager Bonisani Mafela following a stock take and cash count conducted by the club’s auditors PN and A Chartered Accountants.

Ndebele said the club is in the process of recovering the missing funds, and Mafela is set to repay the club in six-months’ time.
He said Mafela, who had been hired to supervise and turnaround the clubhouse’s fortunes, signed an acknowledgement of debt and will repay in instalments of US$400.

“As at 31 December 2020, PN and A Chartered Accountants, (Ralph Bomment Greenaccre and Reynolds), conducted a stock count and a cash count at Highlanders Football Club. During the audit, it was noted that the end of year cash count conducted independently by PN and A Chartered Accountants (Z) was understated by $265 543 compared to the daily cash counts conducted by (the) manager.

“Management has since conducted an investigation, which resulted in the clubhouse manager signing an acknowledgement of debt in admission of variance obtained and with guidance from legal counsel, management has opted to recover these funds. If management had carried out independent daily cash counts during the year the variance would have been detected earlier and the loss would have been averted,” Ndebele’s report reads.

Ndebele said according to the Highlanders’ constitution, the vice-chairman of the club oversees the operations of the clubhouse. — @ZililoR

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