Locating CAPS United's problems

HARARE - CAPS United’s latest away defeat to Chapungu United against a backdrop of player disgruntlement and financial meltdown are the latest problems to confront the country’s third biggest club.

United lost 0-3 to the airmen on Saturday at Ascot stadium after players threatened industrial action over non-payment of outstanding bonuses.

Utility player Hardlife Zvirekwi pulled out of the match day squad on the morning of the match, throwing coach Taurai Mangwiro’s plans into disarray.

By his own admission in his post-match interview, Mangwiro lamented the absence of Zvirekwi and the off field problems which distracted his team.

CAPS are without a win outside Harare having lost to Highlanders (0-4), How Mine (0-2), FC Platinum (1-2) and now Chapungu United (0-3).

This is hardly inspiring and the performances do put huge questions marks on the team’s pedigree to mount a serious challenge to end Dynamos’ league dominance.

Naturally the immediate blame would go to Mangwiro, who declared his team was primed to challenge for domestic honours this season.

But to lay the blame entirely on Mangwiro without interrogating the dissipating and massive dip in form by the club which showed a lot of promise at the commencement of the season would be a travesty of justice.

The problems of CAPS United are a result of a serious financial crisis.

It had been hoped the dissolution of the old executive which was replaced by an impressive board, at least on paper, would bring financial stability to the club.

It is a misnomer to expect a board to invest money from their pocket without growing the finances that already existed at the club.

The board, comprising prominent lawyer Lewis Uriri, Munyaradzi Mazhande, Alex Munyaka, Nhamo Tutisani, medical doctor Mordecai Sachikonye and Khumbulani Mhlope, was, among other things, expected to bring financial stability to the club but not from their own investments.

This impression that their presence at the club would change the financial fortunes of the cash-strapped former champions was wrongly conceived and constructed.

At least going by normal business practice, its main purpose would be to focus mainly on corporate governance issues and playing the oversight role on the administrators of the club.

Of course, the board would help improve the club’s finances by coming up with a strategic business plan aimed at growing the brand.

There are signs that the board has done precisely that with the team’s merchandise and its bottled water, sold at home matches, being a testimony to that.

But in these difficult economic times, it is wrong to expect the merchandise and the bottled water to carry the club on their own.

Attendances have been dwindling every week due to the team’s poor performances and the current liquidity crunch being experienced in the economy.

Of course, the foolish decision to switch the club’s home matches from Gwanzura Stadium to the vast National Sports Stadium where the paying crowd averages 2000, is also a contributory factor.

You would rather pay a 15 percent council levy from increased gross income than pay six percent from decreased gross income.

So, one would expect both the CAPS board and the two shareholders Farai Jere and Twine Phiri to come up with a financial plan that rescues the club from collapse.

Jere, who made a sensational return to the club after his much-publicised fallout with Phiri arising from a shareholding dispute, owns 25 percent of CAPS United.

Phiri as the majority shareholder needs to seriously think of disposing of some of his shares to raise funds to save CAPS United.

It is a practice everywhere that existing shareholders can hold a rights issue to help raise capital for their company in the event that its needs shoring.

In simple terms a rights issue is a way in which a company can sell new shares in order to raise capital. Shares are offered to existing shareholders in proportion to their current shareholding.

The difference here is that Phiri will have to reduce his shareholding in order to raise capital for CAPS United.

This appears the only way Makepekepe can attract funds.

And this is the only way that stability can be brought to the club.

Dynamos, Highlanders, Black Rhinos, How Mine, Chicken Inn, Hwange, Triangle, FC Platinum, ZPC Kariba, Chapungu United and Harare City have corporate backing.

More importantly, Dynamos and Highlanders, the two teams that CAPS United  are expected to compete with are more of community teams and have difficulties attracting shareholders.

So CAPS United being a private club, has leverage on prospective shareholders.

Drip support is not sustainable for a team CAPS United’s size.

The return of Jere was never going to be a fillip for United especially considering that he had previously injected heavily in the team despite cloudy issues surrounding his shareholding in the club.

It is time that Phiri looks at the option of selling some of his shares to help stabilise the club.

There are people who are oiled who love football but looking for a good investment in a team with proven success.

CAPS United fits that bill although there is a danger that the longer it continues to remain in the shadows of Dynamos and Highlanders, the less appeal it will have in the eyes of prospective investors.

Last year, the team could have gone on to win the Mbada Diamonds Cup and the League had it not been of financial problems at the club.

CAPS United lost games that they were supposed to win due to remonstrations by players over outstanding salaries and allowances.

To expect Mangwiro and his charges to perform admirably without addressing the financial crisis would be tantamount to expecting a vehicle to move without fuel.

Many players from the promising team of 2013 left the club as a result of  broken promises and late salaries.

Among those that have left are Benson Maglasi, George Magariro, Tawanda Munyanduri, Tawanda Nyamandwe, David Redhiyoni and Arnold Chivheya.

Despite this exodus, Mangwiro believed his current side would mount a serious assault at the cup honours and the league title.

His team can still do it but in a stable environment!

Comments (4)

iwe Guthrie who told you that Caps is the third biggest team in the country....prove your fact

prosper - 10 June 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 10 June 2014

prosper use your brains not your hands to think Hylanders caps united Dynamos had been in the league since independence in terms of titles and silverware

HANGA - 11 June 2014

prosper use your brains not your hands to think Hylanders caps united Dynamos had been in the league since independence in terms of titles and silverware

HANGA - 11 June 2014

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