No sooner had the world football governing body FIFA revealed plans to professionalize the beautiful game globally than the names of a bold chirpy named Manuel Coelho and another brother christened Siggy Frewer (one of the very few genuine gentlemen) sprung to mind.
Yours truly has known the duo for a reasonable number of summers now – obviously our conduct was brought about by the spherical object – and whenever we bump into each other we often knuckle down to some sort of serious discussion about the future of domestic football.
In between, the discussions would be disrupted by chants of Tate Ali! “same”, “same” as we tried to draw some attention from the late Albert “Tate Ali” Nakale, to fill up the jumbo beer mugs as we downed reasonable quantities of Windhoek Laager drafts with an occasional tot or two from the holy pot of “same” in between.
These conversations would be usually conducted in varying moods, sometimes more relaxing but could also turn extremely emotional, with yours truly always trying to defend and justify the hiccups facing many sports clubs in the domestic setup by shifting the goalposts and try to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the evils of the past.
It’s by now a well-documented secret that the world football governing body FIFA has endorsed plans for the licensing system for clubs.
After carefully perusing the document, something immediately struck my mind because what is penned down word for word became familiar sentences to my ageing brain because it exactly took me down a journey called memory lane as the words of wisdom from Manny and Siggy came back to haunt me.
The two gentlemen who are football gurus in their own right have been vigorously advocating for the very same idea all along, but since they were not talking from a position of authority, nobody took them seriously until FIFA intervened and rubber-stamped their desire, though the ideas were mapped out in the comfort of a sport pub.
The FIFA Club Licensing Regulations are the basic working document for the club licensing system through which the different members of the football family aim to promote common principals in clubs and the credibility and integrity of club competitions.
The club licensing system will ensure that clubs participating in international club competitions fulfill minimum standard requirements with the establishment of confederation club licensing regulations before member associations transpose the confederation regulations into national club licensing regulations to serve as regulations for their affiliated clubs.
The clubs or “license applicants” will undergo an application procedure conducted by the respective member association or “licensor”, while the confederations and FIFA will play a supervisory role in the implementation of the club licensing system.
The club licensing system is primarily aimed at streamlining the functions of football clubs effectively as clubs would now be required to run their affairs strictly on commercial lines.
Football clubs will be required to have their own stadiums, approved youth development programmes, youth teams and training facilities.
In addition, clubs will be compelled to have trained personnel in their midst which includes general manager, qualified coaches, finance and security officers, doctors and physiotherapists, ownership, and audited financial statements.
Enough said, but how do we go about putting these mechanisms in motion?
Firstly, clubs need to do away with the customary people’s club syndrome and start registering clubs as business entities.
Forget about sentiments, or rather let us put it boldly, shake off the shadows of those boring chaps who call themselves diehard supporters and tell them where to get off.
Most of these hanger dudes have become a liability to the welfare of clubs since their backward thinking make them believe they deserve a permanent place in the team’s structures without adding any value to the club.
A typical example is Orlando Pirates – the Buccaneers were on the verge of sinking had it not been for the intervention of Hendrik Dawids, a man with vision because he has played the game at the highest level and understands the finer points of football.
From the moment Dawids walked out on Blue Waters to throw his weight with the Ghosts, yours truly smelled a rat and foresaw problems for the once beautiful birds as the club took a backward step with the community having taken over the running of the club, nogal in this era, ag sies tog.
The problem with community clubs is that there is absolutely no stewardship for the simple reason that the community at most times would not want to be associated with failure and only want to share in glory, without shedding an ounce of sweat.
Let me ink off here and viva to FIFA and to Manny and Siggy, I will always to keep my ear to the ground whenever you guys are in close proximity since your dream has been finally realized – your wish is my command.