Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
WORK on sprucing up the Highlanders Clubhouse is progressing well with the club revealing that they were forced into considering a loan and consultancy approach in order to catch up with other leisure spots in the city.
Bosso have engaged a consultant and sought financial assistance to carry out the renovations in order to make the facility attractive to customers. The consultant’s name was not mentioned but only that he is an expert in the field.
On the reasons for entering into the agreement, the club says it was lagging behind in terms of attracting customers at the clubhouse compared to other outlets in the city hence they needed to act.
Johnfat Sibanda, the Highlanders executive committee chairperson informed members during last Sunday’s Annual General Meeting that the club’s facilities are run down hence there was a need to spruce them up.
“Our entities continue to depreciate in value as our facilities are now dilapidated. Of particular concern was the Highlanders Sports Club Bar, which had dilapidated to an extent that even the most loyal patrons had deserted the place,” Sibanda informed the members.
“Against this background, we had to find means of addressing these problems and the quickest, available and most convenient avenue was a loan and consultancy agreements approach, where we secured a loan to renovate the facility and bring in a consultant who will assist us revamp and modernise this business,” he added.
Recent past and present Bosso administrations have for a number of times spoken about the need to spruce up the Highlanders Clubhouse whose long term lease was secured in 1987 by an executive committee led by the late Ndumiso Gumede.
Highlanders, who generate extra income outside football from the Clubhouse have seen the need to give the facility, which by their admission is “dilapidated,” a facelift.
The facelift should be a welcome development as it is expected to go beyond the bar area into the toilets that of late had been neglected.
Sprucing up the Clubhouse is meant to turn the facility into an upmarket leisure centre that will be able to compete with other sports clubs in the city and lure patrons as part of generating revenue.
The Clubhouse is expected to open next week.
Concerns were raised by the members on what will happen should the club fail to pay back the loan with some raising fears that Highlanders might be forced to surrender the facility to the financier of the renovations. Sources have however indicated that the loan conditions are flexible and the financial backer of the renovations can only recover the money from the clubhouse and not through any other means like attaching Highlanders property.
With regard to the renovation of the club offices which was promised by Sakunda Holdings, the club said they had all faith the promise will be fulfilled.
“We are still in constant communication with sponsors with regard to office renovations. There is an assurance from Sakunda Holdings that our offices will be renovated. The relationship with our sponsor has seen us enjoy additional benefits outside the sponsorship agreement and this gives us the confidence this promise will be fulfilled,” said Sibanda.
When he visited the Highlanders premises in October 2021, Sakunda Holdings chief executive officer Kudakwashe Tagwirei announced that his company will fund the renovations of the Bosso offices in honour of Gumede who was the chairman when the club acquired the facility in the 1980s. Gumede was present when Tagwirei made the announcement but sadly passed away two months later. [email protected]