IT was always coming!
That the Dynamos saga would explode one day to cause chaos and mayhem within the local soccer fra
ternity. And it would inevitably expose the folly within our soccer administration.
Certainly, it couldn’t have escaped even the least intelligent observer that the Dynamos crisis had long become a national crisis which could no longer be left in the hands of the individuals and groups that claim ownership of the once famous club.
And one just wonders what the fathers of local soccer administration at the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have been dreaming about. It would appear they have been hoping and praying for a miracle to solve problems bedeviling Dynamos.
And the saga took a new twist last week when the PSL announced the suspension of Dynamos for the remainder of the season!
It was almost like a joke. Surely it must take someone a great deal of pondering before announcing a decision to suspend Dynamos especially knowing the potential chaos that the Harare-based club can cause.
This was tantamount to fighting chaos with more chaos and confusion.
It is common knowledge that Dynamos fans wouldn’t take lightly the decision to suspend their team, one of the oldest and widely followed clubs in the country. And there shouldn’t be any prizes for guessing how they would have reacted to the banning of their club.
I have no doubt we would have experienced some demonstrations at PSL or Zifa offices, which could easily have turned violent had Zifa not overturned the decision by PSL to suspend Dynamos.
This is, by the way, the same Dynamos that caused mayhem in the top-flight league in the early 1990s over an ownership wrangle. Surely the images we witnessed then when the Jokonia Nhekario faction fought with Morrison Sifelani for the club must be enough to make the guys in soccer administration aware of the potential disaster football could suffer from the Dynamos problems.
I remember how riot police had to disperse an angry crowd at Gwanzura Stadium in 1992 after the match between Dynamos and Darryn T was stopped because of the mayhem created by two line-ups on the pitch each claiming to be Dynamos.
The fans, who had understandably become fed up with this circus, couldn’t take it any more and resorted to throwing missiles.
Both PSL and Zifa have in the past week demonstrated their power and constitutional mandate to intervene and make decisions on the problems at Dynamos. One wonders why the two governing bodies have been appearing powerless and clueless all along. Both had been acting as if they had no powers whatsoever to intervene and solve the problems at the club.
By virtue of being an affiliate of the PSL, Dynamos are subject to the premiership’s rules and regulations. The PSL constitution has a provision for the league to intervene in the day-to-day matters at the club and can suspend or ban the club as shown last week.
The PSL is an affiliate of Zifa and that means the mother association has the mandate to also intervene in the Dynamos saga.
But both Zifa and PSL seem to be suggesting they can’t find a positive solution to the problems at Dynamos.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), which is the country’s sports supreme governing body, has in the past two years attempted to solve the problems at Dynamos in vain. It has been a vicious cycle of meetings after meetings, rulings and orders, failed attempts at holding elections, court challenges and rulings but all to no avail.
Out of all this one gets the impression that all the highly esteemed men from former SRC chairman Anthony Mandiwanza, Leo Mugabe, Rafiq Khan, Francis Zimunya, Leslie Gwindi, Tendai Madzorera to Chris Sambo have failed to find a solution to the Dynamos saga.
Now, Dynamos are crippled by an ownership wrangle whose facts, myths and claims we are fed up of. We have heard enough from the group of founder members that comprises George Shaya, Richard Chiminya, Bernard Marriot and Sifelani.
We have also heard enough from some clowns who harbour ambitions to own the club, but have failed in the past two years to bring stability to the club.
I am referring to the opportunists who have been in and out of the Dynamos interim executive for the past four years. These are the guys who have been running the club like a tuck shop but remain obstinate that they can and should continue in the leadership of the club.
It is known that club executives have brought trunks full of money to the stadia to induce the players to win or throw matches. Zifa and PSL are aware of all this but have been insisting on having an interim executive at Dynamos, constituted by these same characters.
Zifa and PSL are also aware, like we all do, that the so-called founder members are penniless. The old men have nothing to claim more than the fascinating history of how they formed Dynamos in the dusty streets of Mbare back in 1963 and their playing prowess.
None of their achievements or records has the potential to run Dynamos. The game has moved on since 1963 and the team has to be run differently.
Being a community club, Dynamos still need sponsors. The team has to be run like a business. It needs offices and a team bus. It needs to sell its merchandise. It needs to set up an academy and improve training facilities.
It is a disgrace that the country’s largest club travels on hired kombis and holds meetings on the street. This untenable situation is however benefiting certain quarters — financially that is. This is what Zifa and the PSL have to weed out. Those parasites hanging around the club have not added value to the club but have contributed to its fall.
It is sad that community-run clubs are bedevilled with problems. Highlanders were struggling financially at the end of this season while Zimbabwe Saints are a sorry contraption compared to the great club of the 1970s and 1980s. This is all because there are crooks who claim ownership of something they never paid a cent for.
The argument has been, and still is, that Dynamos are a community-based team and must remain as such. But it becomes meaningless and unsustainable if the identifiable “community” lacks the capacity to run the club and when every member of the “community” wants to be a scout, coach and team manager. This will not work and the evidence of that is manifest at Dynamos.
Clearly former soccer star Shaya and company can’t run Dynamos and must be magnanimous as to allow other individuals or groups to take over the club. Their pioneering role will forever be acknowledged and respected.
Again, that doesn’t mean the club has to be thrust into the hands of opportunistic clowns!
Dynamos need to be run by individuals who possess both the financial muscle and leadership qualities. I therefore suggest Zifa and PSL take over the club and call for bids from individuals who would buy shares and become the owners on condition that the founder members will be recognised as trustees.
The interested individuals must show proof of resources in terms of assets and funds that give a guarantee they will be able to run the club as a viable entity.
I have no doubt the millions that follow Dynamos across the country don’t really care who is referred to as the owner, as long as the brand — the name, blue-and-white strip and fame — is there. The current Caps United are the best example.
Twine Phiri took over total ownership of Caps and had to endure a season of curses and humiliation when his rebuilding exercise was yet to succeed. But the champions are currently having the best crowds at stadia simply because of stability and success. The fans have not bothered that it is the same Phiri they spent the whole of last season calling for his head and cursing. They are more interested in the results.
The same pragmatic approach needs to be used in solving the Dynamos puzzle.