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EDITORIAL COMMENT : Dynamos must embrace professionalism

ACCUSATIONS of financial mismanagement currently playing in the latest round of the endless in-house fighting at Harare giants Dynamos make sad reading, if they are true.

One of the country’s biggest and oldest community clubs was back in the headlines last week following the dismissal of their president, Solomon Sanyamandwe. Fair and fine, it was a collective board decision in their efforts to restructure the club’s administration apparently to improve efficiency and bring results.

It also makes sense that the position of club president was not necessary since they already have a functioning executive committee led by Isaiah Mupfurutsa, which can report directly to the board in their two-tier management system.

The Dynamos executive overseas the day-to-day running of the club while the board of directors led by Bernard Marriot-Lusengo provides direction and approves major decisions.

So the board could have been totally correct in their decision to dissolve the president’s post since the chairman of the executive committee can report directly to the board.

But one big question is why did the board have to create that position in the first place when it was redundant from the onset?

Sanyamandwe, who has previously been fingered in the factional fights during his days as vice president to his predecessor Kenny Mubaiwa, was appointed in July last year ostensibly to work as a bridge between the executive committee and the board.

Once, he enjoyed the favour of the board chairman Marriot, but it is reported the relations between the two have irretrievably broken down.

However, without going too deep into the club’s politics, the decision by the board opened a can of worms which brings to the fore a lot of questions on the blatant lack of respect for professionalism and governance issues.

Sanyamandwe claims he was a victim of the in-house fighting. There are also claims that he fell out of favour with Marriot after questioning the way the club have been handling their finances and lately how the $18 000 availed by their sponsors to settle Cameroonian Christian Epoupa’s fees was disposed of after the striker refused to accept the payment in local   currency.

An audit could have helped settle the mysteries surrounding the clubs’ financial records, but it seems no one at Dynamos wants to hear about that. In August last year, we carried a story in which Sanyamandwe was advocating for a forensic audit, but up to now nothing has happened.

Could someone be covering up something?

A club like Dynamos cannot afford to operate without proof of clean books if they hope to rope in serious financial partners and grow their brand.  

As a matter of urgency, Dynamos must work towards conducting the audit and prove to everyone that their finances have not been misappropriated as alleged when treasurer Moses Chikwariro and secretary-general Webster Marechera were fired by Sanyamandwe last year.

It also boggled the mind that the board chairman would rush to rescind the decision without even conducting investigations into such serious allegations.

Marriot himself has been at the centre of the chaos at the club time and again, probably because he is the man at the helm. He was involved in a series of fights with then president Mubaiwa in the last two years over the hiring and firing of coaches, which made it difficult for the latter to continue in office. Now it’s about Sanyamandwe. 

It makes sad reading that a big club like Dynamos is still trapped in the ancient ways of doing things, yet they are supposed to be the flag-bearers of Zimbabwean football because of their rich history of success on the domestic scene.

For starters, DeMbare have a record 21 league championships under their belt and are the only team from Zimbabwe to play in the final of the CAF Champions League.

But, if anything, the negatives that continue to stalk Dynamos in their 55 years of existence seem to eclipse all the milestones and success stories.

The club has nothing to show for all the years they have been in football. Their coffers are dry and, unlike their counterparts in the region who own stadiums, club houses and various other properties, they don’t even have a place they call their own for training purposes. 

The club is always choking under the chronic financial challenges. They apparently have no clue how to use their brand to make more money for the club and how they have survived with their style of management — which depends largely on gate takings — remains a mystery.

It used to be a dream of many players to play for Dynamos, but these days football has become commercialised and it is increasingly becoming difficult for them to lure good players.

Just to show how bad the situation has deteriorated at the Glamour Boys, it is now five years since they last won the league title and last year they had to scramble a way out in the last games to survive relegation.

It is time for Dynamos to take a closer look at themselves in the mirror. They should be setting the pace for smaller teams like Ngezi Platinum Stars, Herentals, Bulawayo Chiefs and many others, but it appears the opposite is now happening.

A club of such magnitude cannot afford to operate like a tuckshop. No! Never.

Source : The Herald

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