BELGIAN-BASED sports consultant firm Euro ClubServices NV has ditched Temba Mliswa’s Worldmark Sports International (WSI) and entered into a multi-million-dollar partnership with Caps United, Ind
ependentSport can reveal.
The withdrawal of Euro ClubServices could scupper plans to establish a sports academy in Mhangura and Alaska as the Belgian company was in a joint partnership with WSI.
Highly-placed sources claim Mliswa failed to provide a budget for the project.
“Mliswa failed to provide that information and this scuttled the project,” said a source.
In an exclusive interview this week Euro ClubServices chief executive officer Gino Laureyssen confirmed his company had pulled out from the project as it was taking too long to take off.
“It was taking a lot of time and with investors, time is money. We were talking and talking but without moving even a millimetre,” he said.
“Mr Mliswa is now into farming and has little time for sport while we are a professional company that relies on sport and in such a case we have to move with speed. When I spoke to other people, they responded professionally…I was hoping that Mr Mliswa would be in Tunisia but he was doing his farming”.
IndependentSport heard that Mliswa failed to come up with a viable plan as to how the project could be carried out.
“We still believe in the projects of Mhangura and Alaska but the approach to organise must be a very, very professional one, which was finally not what we have received,” Laureyssen said.
Investigations revealed that WSI and the Belgian company had not signed a letter of intent though the latter had committed US$15 000.
Laureyssen said after many meetings and discussions his company had
decided not to invest in the project but to focus on the establishment of a European management team on the pharmaceutical side and some activities in and around Zimbabwe.
“I met Twine Phiri (Caps United owner) in Tunisia and we signed a memorandum of understanding for my company to invest in Caps United,” he said.
Laureyssen could not be drawn into revealing how much money his company would invest in Caps.
“I cannot tell you the exact amount but it is between US$25 000 and US$50 000,” he said.
The money to be injected by Euro ClubServices will be used for youth development and setting up of a website for the team among other things.
Mliswa castigated the Belgian company as dishonest and interested in making quick money.
“These people are conmen who were not after developing sport but out to make quick bucks from selling players. My passion was to develop the players and then sell them later,” he said.
He said his company’s core business is to run a successful academy that churns out players.
Mliswa claimed Phiri had gone behind his back to lure the Belgians.
“I have spent millions accommodating these people here and somebody benefits from the process,” he said.
“This is the second time that Zimbabweans have gone behind my back. I brought John Fashanu here and someone hijacked him.”
Analysts say the termination of the project, touted as having been made in heaven, signals the death knell of an ambitious venture in Mashonaland West province.
The Belgian company, they say, was renowned for its expertise and working with WSI was just what the country needed.
“I have more international contacts who are willing to invest and local companies willing to put their money in the academy,” Mliswa shot back.
Phiri could however not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was unreachable.