Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
LAST week our Harare Bureau carried an article in which some Premier Soccer League clubs were bemoaning the dwindling attendance figures at their matches.
Early this week, Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube also posted a pocket of fans that were at the 60 000 seater National Sports Stadium when the Bulawayo giants took on Herentals on Saturday.
For any person, such scenarios should be a cause for concern and all measures possible done to make sure fans come back to our games. We can’t rule out, of course, the economic challenges facing the country which has seen disposable incomes dwindling by each passing day. Paying a little money to watch a match is now an unnecessary luxury which only a few can afford.
It is now very important to ensure matches are played at the most convenient day and time to attract as many fans as possible.
Sadly those entrusted with running the game, especially the elite Premier Soccer League, seem not to appreciate the importance of the best day and time for matches.
Firstly, it was the decision to have a league match at Luveve Stadium when across town, our Total Caf Champions League representatives, FC Platinum were also in action, hosting firstly Malawian visitors, Nyasa Big Bullets and secondly Mozambican side UD Songo.
In other countries, when their club is in action, domestic fixtures on that day, especially in the hosting town or city are suspended.
Fast forward to this weekend, Bulawayo is having two PSL games, Bulawayo Chiefs taking on Triangle and Highlanders playing against TelOne at Barbourfields Stadium. Both these games have been set for tomorrow. Initially Highlanders were supposed to play today but for reasons yet to be known, the fixture was moved to tomorrow.
So Saturday will be empty, no matches and then suddenly a double header tomorrow in a City like Bulawayo. The matches will obviously share fans which is not good for clubs.
Why are we bleeding these clubs especially the so called small clubs like Chiefs who would have benefited from Bosso fans?
Its my sincere hope that the PSL symposium that ends in the resort town of Victoria Falls today will help those entrusted with running football in our country to appreciate professionalism and modern standards of running a league.
A fixture cannot just be changed overnight or because someone has complained. A football fixture comes with a lot of other support structures, commercially or otherwise and to haphazardly change it might in future see some organisations being dragged to the courts for loss of revenue by stakeholders who would have planned their programmes based on the initially released fixture.
PSL, stop bleeding our clubs!