‘Bosso’s present model cannot sustain the club’ File image: Highlanders fans at Barbourfields Stadium

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
A FEW years ago, a Highlanders Football Club transformation sub-committee was appointed and tasked to align the club with Fifa club licensing and come up with strategies of commercialising the club.

The committee was made up of club members with varying expertise and was chaired by veteran educationist Elkannah Dube.

Cosmos Sikhosana, Davies Ndumiso Sibanda, Donald Ndebele, Andrew Tapela, Nhlanhla Dube, Innocent Batsani Ncube and Daniel Molokele completed the committee.

It worked on the transformation document for more than a year before presenting it to club members at the 2018 annual general meeting.

However, the transformation process suffered a still birth as members rejected it in it’s entirety and it was thrown out.

But a critical analysis of the document shows that it was meant to oil the club in its journey to commercialisation as it sought to come up with a win-win partnership.

Membership would have grown and members’ obligations as well as benefits were going to be clearly spelt out.

Criticism of the document was led by the board of directors, especially the old guard, who felt threatened.

Although younger board members embraced the idea, they found themselves at loggerheads with their older counterparts who wield more power.

The document proposed three types of members: special virtual branch, conventional branch based members as well as honorary members. The board of directors would have been replaced by a ceremonial Heritage and Legacy Council body made up of the club president and six other elders over 65 years of age with proven 30 plus years membership and service to the club.

All life and ordinary members would have been given a year from the date of adoption to register to belong to the special virtual branch.

Geographic and demographic delimitation guidelines were going to be designated for the establishment of official branches under the conventional membership.

“A number of changes, all for the benefit of the club, would have come had that document been adopted by members. It is clear that our present model cannot sustain the club going forward. Right now people are just members with no obligations whatsoever and this is unsustainable. Had the transformation document been adopted, we would have seen members contributing a certain amount of money (subscription) per period instead of the present arrangement, especially for life members, whereby one just makes a once-off payment and that’s it,” a former member of the sub committee told Chronicle Sport.

“Since this is not a social organisation, members want to see value of joining the club such as special prices for club regalia and packages negotiated by the club on their behalf.”

He said there was need for Highlanders members to stop being overly political on every matter meant to benefit the club.

“I tell you we had people labelling us power hungry saying we were trying to create positions for ourselves in the new set-up. The document was sadly thrown out and I can confidently tell you that it’s beginning to haunt the institution big time, especially during these times when Covid-19 is wrecking havoc,” he said.

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