Time to stop the rot at DeMbare, Bosso

DYNAMOS and Highlanders are the country’s most successful, and most supported football clubs and they have evolved, over the course of time, to become mega institutions with massive appeal across the nation.

Millions of football fans support the two giants and even those who have moved to work in foreign countries still follow the trials and tribulations of DeMbare and Bosso from their bases.

They have a way, every other Sunday, of shaping the mood of the nation, because when they win a huge constituency in this country finds reason to celebrate the victory.

It’s something which, in the past, the two giants were doing with regularity with Dynamos dominating the ‘80s, Bosso coming strongly onto the scene in the ‘90s and at the turn of the millennium, where they even won four straight championships, while the Glamour Boys achieved a similar feat under Callisto Pasuwa between 2011 and 2014.

The two giants have also produced a number of the country’s finest players with Bosso providing us with the man widely regarded as the finest Warrior of all-time, Peter Ndlovu, while DeMbare also gave us Moses Chunga who, in terms of raw talent, was a genius.

But, it appears, something is not right with the two heavyweights.

Highlanders have not won the league championship since 2006, and this year marks 13 years without them winning the ultimate prize on the domestic football field, the longest barren run for them since they won their first league title in 1990.

Dynamos have not won the championship in four years now but that just tells a portion of the story.

For a team that won seven of the first 10 league championships, in the first decade of Independence, the fact that DeMbare have won only five league titles in the past 20 years, is a powerful statement of how the mighty have fallen.

There were some grand expectations that the two giants will flex their muscles this season, especially after NetOne renewed their sponsorship of Bosso, and Dynamos also got a $1 million injection from their cigarette-manufacturing sponsors.

But, four games into the new Castle Lager Premiership season, things have already started looking gloomy for the two domestic football giants.

Highlanders are winless in the league since the season started and things could have been even worse for them had what looked like a clear last-gasp goal for CAPS United at Barbourfields not been controversially ruled out by the match officials.

Dynamos won their first match but have lost three league matches on the trot and both giants find themselves struggling in the lower reaches of the league championship table.

The Glamour Boys, as they have so often done in the past, have reacted by firing their coach and rehiring another one they sacked just a few years ago, as they look for salvation.

Highlanders have kept faith with Madinda Ndlovu, a club legend, despite their stuttering start to the season with the Bosso hierarchy saying they were paying the price for the upheaval in their camp during pre-season when there were protests all over the show over unpaid dues.

While Bosso have always had a sound leadership, the same cannot be said of Dynamos whose brand has been hammered, for years now, by some poor administrators who appear to have no clue, whatsoever, to find the magic touch to transform this institution into a successful football team once again.

We have seen some successive leaders being brought into the fold, some with dubious backgrounds, and the result has been this painful exercise where the country’s biggest football club has now been reduced into a shell.

The problem with Dynamos is that it is not an ordinary club and whatever happens in their camp has a domino effect on the entire domestic Premiership.

Because of their sheer size, and appeal, if Dynamos are not doing well, as is the case right now, we see interest in the domestic Premiership, in particular, and domestic league football, in general, taking a knock.

Attendance figures at our stadiums plummet, because thousands of Dynamos fans simply choose to stay away, rather than endure the humiliation and pain of watching their beloved team being turned into a punching bag.

This also means that there is reduced inflow of cash from gate receipts and, not so long ago, many local clubs termed DeMbare their paymasters because, on the occasion they had a home match against the Glamour Boys, they would have a full house and make enough money to settle their dues.

All that has changed now because Dynamos are being left out to die while people watch from a distance.

The time has come for those who believe in the Glamour Boys to come together and try and find solutions to tame this tide which is pushing their club into a quagmire from where it might never come out again.

DeMbare is too big an institution to be left in the hands of just one man —Bernard Marriot — to call all the shots because this was never a club that was formed to become the property of an individual but to belong to millions of Zimbabweans.

The sooner action is taken the better because time is leaving our two football giants behind.

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