Fans boycott PSL matches

HARARE - The Premier Soccer League (PSL) witnessed a decrease in spectators for the just ended 2013 season.

This was revealed in the league’s activity report presented to the board of governors meeting held in the capital at the weekend.

“A total number of 495 098 fans watched the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches this year compared to 643 293 during the 2012 season,” read the report.

This is a deficit of 148 195 which signals a 23 percent drop in numbers of paying spectators.

“The increased gate charges from $3,00 rest of the ground to $5,00 might have contributed to low attendances,” said the league.

The league also cited some loopholes in the manner in which clubs are administering their gates which could be one of the results of the drop in numbers.

“We have observed that clubs are not efficiently controlling the selling of tickets, with a number of fans gaining access into the stadia free of charge,” said the league.

“It has been noted that a number of clubs are not properly accounting for gate-takings. A lot of expenses are classified under ‘sundry expenses’.”

The PSL hopes to introduce a computerised ticketing system to help stem the loss of revenue in the near future.

“The Marketing and IT manager has been tasked to research, conduct a feasibility analysis and provide recommendations on the adoption of a state-of-the-art computerised ticketing system.

“This will enable the league to have more effective gate controls and help the PSL to leverage on modern day technologies such as e-ticketing.”

The league also noted that most clubs are not equipped to host match day events and the arrival of satellite broadcaster SuperSport has made the situation worse.

“Most clubs are not well equipped to handle football events especially where SuperSport LIVE broadcast are being conducted,” said the PSL.

Pitch invasions and the movement of media personnel is still another major problem for the league especially when the match is being broadcast live.

At the moment, the league is also saddled with a $272 120 debt owed to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) in unpaid levies.

“Currently the League owes the SRC a sum of $272 120 dating back to 2009. The SRC had agreed to write off a sum of $108 000 provided we settle the 2011 and 2012 levies in the sum of $164 000. The said sum is to be paid in equal instalments of $8000,” said the league.

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