I HUMBLY made myself available for the Premier Soccer League chairmanship because of a burning belief that the time has come for someone to help our Premiership take the giant step forward.
While my history in the game is well known, including the manner I have managed to keep Caps United going under a very difficult operating environment, I found it worthwhile to go out there and meet all the PSL governors because no man can claim to know it all. My much publicised meetings with my fellow governors were designed to give us a platform to compare notes ahead of next Sunday’s watershed election, the meetings gave me a chance to pitch my ideas face to face with the people I propose to lead.
Others may view my countrywide tour as grandstanding and a waste of resources but it is my belief that knocking on the door of each governor, including those that endorsed the man I am competing with, is a sign of humility. And the message I am preaching is that, “Dear governors, please help me make the PSL a league that looks like a topflight league, help me make the PSL a league that has assets – tangible assets – on its books.”
One cannot throw their hat into an election ring and not tell the electorate what it is their offering.
Unless one is not is his own man and is a front of some people it’s imperative that they tell the governors and the nation at large what they intend to do if elected as the PSL chairman.
The manifestos we publish before elections are the work maps, they are the same documents that the electorate will use to hold us accountable when we are in office.
I am a true football fan and in this game, you have to love the sport before you dream of managing it, leading it. I believe I have gone through the mill from my time as a mere supporter of Caps United, team manager, minority shareholder right up to now when I have become the majority shareholder in the club. Owning a top flight club in this environment prepares and hardens you to be a person driven by a relentless pursuit for excellence and return on value and that is why I believe I am now ripe for the leap to lead the PSL.
My full plan for our topflight league will probably need the whole edition of The Sunday Mail but there are some points I need to highlight.
First I believe the days of the PSL and Zifa have a cat-and-mouse relationship that gives birth to unnecessary turf-war skirmishes that have come at the detriment of our league, should be a thing of the past.
It appears we have been blinded from the reality that we need to generate value for our members rather than be celebrated as boardroom warriors who win political battles that have not brought any value to our members.
There is therefore need to clearly define the legal roles, mandate and authority of each party to ensure that there exists mutual trust and respect between Zifa and PSL with our league retaining its independence, which our founding fathers fought for, but also remaining focused on the need to produce a dividend for its membership and also to develop our football.
If given the mandate to lead the PSL I will that the league is run in a professional, effective and transparent manner. In this regard, the PSL staff will go on exchange and attachment programmes in Europe to learn new and modern ways of running a professional, successful and viable soccer league.
There is need for exposure to and cross-pollination with advanced leagues at the administration level.
For long we have encouraged this funny way where we try to isolate ourselves from others, where we live in isolation while the entire world is becoming a global village and reaping huge benefits from that, but that is not right and we have to change the way we do things.
Even our colleagues in Zambia have been on a development trajectory and now a number of our better players are going there but we have never tried to reach out to them so that we exchange ideas and see where they are getting it right and what we could use, in our environment, to improve our lot.
With all due respect we cannot be regarded as a viable league when we operate from under developed premises. I will therefore work diligently to initiate and implement the PSL Village Project.
There is need for the establishment of a respectable home for the PSL-a home that speaks for itself as to our seriousness as a professional soccer league and to our determination to develop and grow.
That we don’t have such a range of properties, 26 years down the line, just goes to show that we have failed to take our football to the next level.
My record in business and football is there for all to see and what I am saying is let me transform the PSL into a brand that we will all be proud.
Farai Jere is the Caps United president. He is running for the PSL chairmanship, and made these remarks in an interview with The Sunday Mail Sports Editor Makomborero Mutimukulu in Harare on August 31, 2018
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