Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
CAPS United’s principal partners — Farai Jere and Nhamo Tutisani — yesterday unveiled a five-year vision anchored on a grand mission to reclaim the Premiership football title, a return to the Champions League and a transformation of the club into a successful commercial venture.
On a day of frantic activity at the Green Machine, the two businessmen secured the signatures of over half-a-dozen players, including former Highlanders vice captain Gabriel Nyoni, and unveiled an ambitious plan to convert their entity into a commercial success story.
Tutisani, a property developer, will oversee the day-to-day running of the Green Machine with Jere now set to spend most of his time in his role as the leader of the Premier Soccer League.
Jere retains his post as club president while Tutisani — who has a passion for junior development having invested a substantial fortune into an academy he ran with the late Edzai Kasinauyo — will be vice president.
A new board of directors at the club will be unveiled before the end of next week which will work with the team’s principals as CAPS United embark on this journey in which there will also be a lot of emphasis on commercial aspects anchored on the profitability of the franchise.
The recruitment of a number of junior players, who can be developed and eased into the system, with the ultimate objective of them being transferred to foreign clubs, will be a big part of the club’s vision in the next five years.
“There is something wrong with a business model, and football is one of the biggest industries in the world today, where you invest $700 000 a year to win $100 000 at the end of the season, and that is not sustainable in the long term,” said Tutisani.
“We have to shift focus and find ways of ensuring that our football reaps dividends for the fans, in terms of success on the field, and also the shareholders in terms of what they would be pumping into the operations.
“That is why there is need to put a lot of focus on the commercial aspects of the club and ensure that the team reaps a dividend that will ensure there will be enough funds to strengthen the club each other year.
“The club will have a combination of some senior players and some new young players who are being recruited and there will be balance to ensure a strong CAPS United on the pitch and in the boardroom.”
Coach Lloyd Chitembwe has been retained as the head of the coaching staff despite a frenzy of speculation linking him to a move from the club he guided to the league championship three years ago.
The gaffer was part of the Green Machine leadership yesterday which spent the day dealing with issues related to the acquisition of new players, extending contracts of some existing players and dissolution of debts owed other players.
The two shareholders said this massive investment, running into tens of thousands of dollars, was a bold statement of their intentions to try and recapture the league title they won two years ago.
They said also want to erase the nightmare of last season’s lifeless campaign.
Speed-merchant Nyoni, who was the Bosso vice-captain last season, penned a three-year deal with the Green Machine marking his return to a club he played for during his years as a junior player.
Another speedster, Phineas Bhamusi, officially marked his return to CAPS United after a successful year spent at Triangle where he helped the Lowveld side win the Chibuku Super Cup.
Bhamusi has penned a two-year deal.
Goalkeeper Chris Mverechena penned a three-year deal, striker John Zhuwawo will have an improved contract for the remainder of his season after Chitembwe challenged him to rediscover the goal-scoring touch that propelled him to fame two years ago.
Zhuwawo had a miserable season in front of goal last year, after he lost his range and focus, with the forward struggling to recover from a failed trial stint in the South African Premiership.
The tall striker said he was certain he could challenge for the Golden Boot award this season as he had dealt with the psychological demons which were haunting him last year.
Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo, who battled a serious injury which kept him out of action all season last year, where he underwent a delicate operation financed by the club, committed himself to another three years at the Green Machine.
Midfielder Joel Ngodzo is committing himself to a further one-year extension at Makepekepe while a number of players who impressed for the Young Warriors during their COSAFA Under-20 campaign in Zambia, where they reached the final, are set to be recruited.
Three other new players, including a goalkeeper and a defender, are set to be added to the CAPS United roster ahead of the team’s resumption of training on January 14.
Jere said he was excited by the new developments at the club. “This is a turning point for CAPS United and I can tell you things will never be the same again for us because last season’s performance was unacceptable and we don’t want to see anything of that sort happening again,” said Jere.
“We are certain people will see a different CAPS United this coming season and all this talk that we have a crisis is just bar talk and there is nothing like that.
“The level of unity between the shareholders is amazing and we are moving in one direction and Tutisani is committed to making a big difference in the way the club has to move forward and he has brought some great ideas.”
Source : The Herald