Most of the 16 BPL clubs are knee-deep in debt, resulting in the majority failing to regularly pay staff. However all the clubs were recently given the all clear by the First Instance Body (FIB), which is responsible for licencing clubs, to take part in the BTC Premiership.
Just weeks into the new season, a number of clubs are already approaching various Samaritans, cap-in-hand, asking for donations.
But the FIB is moving swiftly to put an end to what has been the BTC Premiership’s sore thumb in recent seasons.
FIB secretary, James Phuthego Setete, said they had to add another requirement to the Club Licencing list, which is the provision of budget estimates. “It was not there on the initial list and we decided to add it, to curb overspending by clubs. Clubs will be expected to submit their budgets, and reveal sources of income. The budget will then be approved or rejected, looking at the financial state of the club,” Setete said.
He said clubs would be able to manage their finances prudently if they don’t spend beyond their means. There were question marks over how some clubs had managed to get licences for the new season, yet they were clearly in financial problems.
Setete explained that the financial requirement was not on the initial list, but was added by the FIB.
Setete said clubs have submitted their budget estimates and at the FIB’s next meeting on the first week of October, the committee will consider submissions.
“One of the Club Licencing goals is that football should be run efficiently and sustainably. If we find that the budget is unrealistic, we can direct the club to cut salaries. If clubs do not comply, points can be deducted, or even demotion of the team to the lower divisions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the much-vaunted Financial Control System (FCS) would be introduced after La Liga officials workshop local clubs on the new system on a date yet to be confirmed.
With most clubs sinking in debt, the BFA and BPL, following a benchmarking exercise in Spain, decided to introduce financial caps.
This will see clubs spend within their means, and those that violate, will face sanctions, which are being drawn up by the club licencing body.BPL chief executive officer, Thabo Ntshinogang said they will implement the system as soon as La Liga officials take local clubs through the paces.
“We are waiting for La Liga (officials) to come and run a workshop for our clubs (and) then we will be ready to go. The club licencing sanctions that are being developed by the FA will contribute to the economic control exercise,” Ntshinogang said.