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Matlama officials demonstrate how not to run a club


Moorosi Tsiane

A disaster.

This, unfortunately, is the best way to describe Matlama’s gala-dinner held at Victoria Hotel on Friday last week.

The event was supposed to see the launch of Tse Putsoa’s kit for the 2014/15 Premier League season and the club’s new website.

In addition, the gala-dinner was also going to be used as a platform to lure the corporate world into investing in Matlama, who are Lesotho’s most successful club with nine Premier League titles to their name.

After arriving at the hotel well ahead of the 6pm starting time, I and my fellow scribes, waited anxiously for the event, which we had been told was supposed to usher Matlama into a “new, professional era”.

But we were to receive the shock of our lives, because never have I seen such a disorganised event in my entire life.

For starters, the gala-dinner started three hours late, and none of the club officials  bothered to explain what was going on.

And by the time the event started, the guests had bought themselves a couple of beers and other alcoholic stuff to dissipate the boredom, and seemed to have lost interest in what the event was all about.

Yet such unprofessional behaviour and poor management is a blemish not only on the Matlama executive, which has been in office for one season now, but also on this club which is supposed to be the shining light of Lesotho football.

What was meant to be a new start in reviving Matlama’s waning fortunes could come to haunt the club because after such a disappointing evening, I don’t see any businessperson wanting to be associated with this kind of mediocrity.

A team run like a shebeen is hardly the kind of vehicle a business would want to use to market itself, and that is exactly what Matlama showed all and sundry on that forgettable Friday evening.

And with such poor management style, it is no surprise that this team has been struggling to clinch their 10th league title or even a knockout competition since claiming the former in 2010 and winning the Vodacom Spectacular in 2011.

If Matlama believe any serious business would want to invest in this kind of a joke, then there is need for the leadership to look at issues with more imagination and intuition.

I would not be surprised if, after that chaotic event, even the team’s current sponsors decide to terminate their links with the team and put their monies elsewhere.

Like I said in my last column, I am really impressed each time I see our clubs getting corporate sponsorship, but I would never support the unprofessionalism I saw at the Matlama gala, or pretend that nothing out of the ordinary took place.

And as if this delayed start was not enough, things went from bad to worse as the new website, which was supposed to be unveiled on the day, could not function.

Club spokesperson, Rankhethoa ‘Mota, asked us to “count down” to the opening of the website, which we did—only to realise later that we were wasting our energy for nothing.

I was not surprised though, in fact I was expecting it to happen, considering the disappointing start to the gala-dinner.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, a known Matlama supporter, was there at the gala-dinner and I could see him shaking his head in disappointment as the evening went from bad to worse.

Until officials stop running our teams like tuck-shops or shebeens, Lesotho football will never transform from its current amateur state.


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