Relief for Highlanders

Kevin Mapasure

CASH strapped Premier Soccer league giants Highlanders have received a major boost ahead of the 2011 season after securing a sponsorship deal with Bakers Inn.

The Bulawayo giants earlier this week announced a US$122 293 loss for last season and were lamenting the lack of funding as the new season approaches.

 

But that is going to be a thing of the past after the marriage with Bakers Inn.

Impeccable sources at the company said that a sponsorship package had been set aside for Highlanders as the company returns to top-flight football after their flirtation with both Bosso and Dynamos.

Highlanders chairman Themba Ndlela said that talks were on with the bread makers so that they can bankroll the team this season.

Both parties could not reveal the figures but the financial package is expected to alleviate the problems that have threatened the day to day running of the league’s giants.

“We are talking with them but nothing has been finalised yet,” said Ndlela.

“We have been talking for a long time now and as soon as something comes up we will advise you.”

Insiders at the company said that a deal had already been struck between the two parties and an announcement will soon follow.

Bosso has seen their top players Zephaniah and Joel Ngodzo switch to join the league’s money men Platinum FC. Platinum have been splashing cash buying some of the top players in the league.

Apart from the Ngodzo brothers, the Mkhupali Masuku coached Highlanders has also seen the exit of Menard Mupera, Francis Kanda and Protasho Kabwe.

The Bulawayo giants want to sign experienced players to plug the gap left by the departed players before the season begins.

Ndlela said that no new signings had been made yet but they were closing in on a few targets to reinforce the young squad.

An improvement in their financial fortunes will come as a major boost as they will be able to pay their players. They still owe some players sign on fees and salaries from last season.

Having showed strong signs of resurgence after Masuku took over at the helm last season, Highlanders’ fortunes this term looked doomed with empty coffers.

But the latest development will certainly be sweet news for Bosso fans who last won the championship in 2006.