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Chikwata set for financial windfall

by Staff reporter
14 Jul 2022 at 07:30hrs | Views
STRUGGLING former giants Zimbabwe Saints could be set for a financial windfall after the club successfully negotiated a new deal with a diaspora-based company.

The club appears to have turned a corner and is headed for a change in fortunes.
Saints, Super League champions in 1988 and a top club since their formation in 1932, have faded into obscurity in the past two decades due to a plethora of reasons, chief among them lack of consistent sponsorship.

So financially hamstrung has Chikwata been that the club did not even exist or compete in any of the country's leagues for over five years until the intervention of one of the club's most prominent administrators and benefactors Vincent Pamire, who is president of the board of trustees.

After securing a franchise in the Zifa Southern Region Division One league through the benevolence of another Saints administrator Lloyd Munanga, Pamire has been working hard to secure sponsorship that will allow the club to begin performing on the field.

Saints risk relegation to the unfashionable Bulawayo Province Division Two League.

However, three weeks ago, Pamire told our sister publication, the Sunday News, that a new sponsor was on the horizon. At the time, Pamire said an announcement was imminent.

Yesterday, Pamire exclusively revealed that the unnamed sponsor would be revealed at an event to be held at Zimbabwe Saints Sports Club in Queens Park East tomorrow afternoon. He said an overseas based company has agreed to sponsor the club with the agreement set to be signed at the function tomorrow.

"I cannot name the sponsor yet, but on Friday (tomorrow) afternoon we will be unveiling them at a function that we will be holding at Zimbabwe Saints Sports Club," Pamire revealed to Chronicle Sport.

"We have an agreement in place and it will be signed and sealed at the function on Friday. The one thing that I will tell you is that it is worth every bit of the wait. The company is based in the diaspora and the owner is a child of the club himself.

"He heeded our call to ensure that Saints is revived and has arrived in the country to seal the agreement," Pamire said coyly.

Without getting into specifics, Pamire said the sponsorship deal is very lucrative and the club's fans are likely to see a change in fortunes on and off the field.

"Signing this partnership with this company is extremely important in providing us with crucial revenue as a football club. The revenue will help our club objectives of being competitive in the Premier Soccer League and our commercial goals that come with promotion. Our new sponsor has a huge presence in business, having worked in different areas over the years and we look forward to a successful partnership with them.

"We're very happy to announce the partnership as we now begin to lay the foundation for a return to the Premier Soccer League. It's no surprise to anyone, we were once one of the most watched Super League and Premier Soccer League clubs in local football, so this new opportunity gives us excellent branding worldwide.

As with all our partners, we will work closely with the company, ensuring that we support relevant events throughout the term of this partnership. We look forward to the new season and are sure we'll work together to achieve common goals," Pamire said.

The club's position of power comes from its historical on-field success as the side goes in pursuit of a return to the PSL, having last played at this level in 2011.

Saints bounced back into the Zifa Southern Region Division One League last year after clearing a debt of US$5 000 owed to Zifa backdated to 2014.

They were relegated to Division One where they were expelled in 2014 for failing to pay $2 500 affiliation fees and remained in the wilderness until they registered with the Zifa Bulawayo Province Division Two League in 2015.

For Pamire, talk of relegation is premature, if not outright outlandish.

"Zimbabwe Saints is a big club and we are not going anywhere, that I can guarantee our supporters. Like any other club that goes through difficult times, it's important to keep our heads high so that we come back stronger. We are Premier Soccer League material and Division One is just a stepping stone to our major goal," he said.

Saints will always be fondly remembered for producing yesteryear greats that include the likes of Gibson Homela, William Sibanda and Ebson ‘Sugar' Muguyo.

Source - The Chronicle
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