Yadah FC can revolutionise football administration in Zimbabwe

Khama was presented to a bumper crowd at the Heart Stadium which the club, through its owner Magaya, also owns.

PROPHET Walter Magaya owned side Yadah FC appears to be redefining football administration in Zimbabwe, especially breaking the bank to bring football talisman Khama Billiat into their books.

The club beat football giants with much greater success and history such as Dynamos, CAPS United, Highlanders and FC Platinum to the signature of one of the country’s generational talents and other clubs should take a leaf.

It only bolsters the thinking that the club has decided to take the lead in how football can be run in a profitable way despite seemingly spending a lot of money.

Over the years, Yadah FC has been operating on the financial backbone of  Magaya and his ambition is to make the football club stand the test of time to survive beyond his lifetime as seen with other football clubs that have survived long after the founders are gone.

That’s what legacy is all about.

The club recently acquired the services of  Billiat and such talent comes at a premium as shown by his bumper contract details like the US$20 000 sign on fees plus a fixed monthly salary of US$5 000 per month, a flat and finally a Land Rover Defender.

Immediately after the signing, Yadah began to yield the return on investment on Khama by unveiling the super star using European standards where a grand ceremony is organised.

Khama was presented to a bumper crowd at the Heart Stadium which the club, through its owner Magaya, also owns. For arguments sake, if everyone who attended the ceremony could have paid say a dollar each, they could have made over a thousand dollars.

The player’s signed jerseys were auctioned for a whooping US$25 000 that means the club had already  yielded return on investment and can somehow fund the star's part bumper contract even before the season started.

Prior to the arrival of Khama, Yadah FC commissioned the Heart Stadium. The beauty of this stadium is not only in the stature you see by mere look, but the business it could bring to the club by way of revenue beyond the traditional means.

Last week, reigning Mozambique champions Clube Ferroviário da Beira arrived at the Yadah Hotel, which houses the Heart Stadium for a pre-season camp.

The economic details of the visit by the Mozambican Champions have not been made public, but it’s not a wild guess that their stay is not for free.

Yadah FC is taking a leaf from the likes of Real Madrid where the club realised that revenue of gate takings is limited to a number of seats available and beyond crowd capacity then the club cannot raise extra revenue.

Santiago Bernabeu home, to Real Madrid, is open for daily tours, the main attraction being the club museum showcasing all the silverware from its founding to date as well the marvel of the engineering of the retractable pitch.

Yes the pitch can be removed in case the stadium is hosting other events be it a concert night with Taylor Swift or a different sport like American football.

In fact, according to reports Santiago Bernabaue is already booked to host American football matches in Europe thus bringing in further revenue that was traditionally not possible.

By the same token Yadah FC is making use of its facilities strategically to achieve revenues outside of gate takings and sponsorship.

Yadah can even sell the naming rights of their Heart Stadium just like the home of Arsenal known as the Emirates Stadium or FNB Stadium in our neighbouring country.

Naming rights are not limited to the whole stadium as a section can be named after an advertiser.

Imagine if the Vietnam Stand in Rufaro Stadium was the name of the advertiser and that advertiser would be enjoying popularity of his brand by virtue of the popularity of the Vietnam section known to be the loudest and most cheerful section during match days especially for Dynamos.

The club can also allow Harare based clubs to use the Heart Stadium as home ground, of course after doing a cost benefit analysis to find out if the cost of leasing the ground brings enough revenue to pay for its maintenance.

Yadah FC marketing department can even capitalise on the vast ecosystem of resources, which include Yadah TV.

Yadah TV can be downloaded on Google Play Store and usually the majority of its content has been religious and introducing a variety of programmes, including streaming of its matches since there is an available niche in this area.

This will increase viewership and in return attract advertisers.

Online business is usually a game of numbers and additional content can come in handy by attracting viewers that would have not subscribed prior to Yadah FC content.

Yadah FC can ride on the celebrity status of its players and find advertisers thus generating extra revenue for the club and maybe pay a commission to the stars in case it was not part of the initial contract.

Further to that, Yadah can set up a shop at Heart Stadium to sell merchandise during match days and an online store to benefit those outside of the capital and deliveries will be made to respective buyers when Yadah FC is on away matches.

Buyers in Mutare can get deliveries of their merchandise by courier services or get their merchandise when the club has an away fixture in the particular area.

Yadah FC can use the facility to host even crusades for churches and use the hotel for accommodation in the duration of the event.

Other clubs will then begin to see the value in adopting the vast ways of making football profitable.

  • Clive Newongo is a football enthusiast and analyst

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