The ensuing brouhaha in the aftermath of Namibia’s giant telecommunications provider MTC’s divorce from the country’s elite football league NPL, has left the entire football fraternity in tatters.
This is exactly what happens when one is trying to bite off more than you can chew! For starters, the Namibian Premier League (NPL) shot themselves in the foot by allowing sponsors to dictate terms over the memorandum of agreement (MoG) from the onset.
Dear readers, please pardon me, but yours truly is obliged to compare this unfortunate unfolding saga to the Ockham’s razor philosophy, a principle of simplicity without introducing further explanation.
This principle, commonly known as the principle of parsimony, is named after the medieval philosopher William of Ockham. It’s often given in the form “Don’t multiply entities beyond necessity,” though this is not how Ockham himself expressed it.
Let me put it this way in simple layman’s lingo: there is absolutely no need to go beyond the known range of phenomena in explaining the current quagmire in which domestic football finds itself entangled.
As it stands, the most obvious practical problem in our football is a result of gravely incompetent self-centered leadership, period!!. Like in many areas of critical thinking, sensitivity to context is a key factor but not at this juncture.
MTC’s departure from football has been on the horizon for a quite a while and only a fool would not have noticed it. The entire sponsorship deal went awry from the word go when MTC was given hopelessly too much leverage in the negotiations, full stop!!.
It’s a well-documented fact that any investment in any kind of relationship must be reciprocated but sadly, that’s certainly not the case.
Truth be told, our football does not provide the required appeal to entice potential sponsors and it’s not helped by the seemingly permanent poor marketing of the game.
Football is a religion all over the world and Namibia is not an exception to this global uncontested debate over its philosophy – and it should be noted that MTC’s inevitable pull-out is going to affect many people’s lives, notably young footballers and their dependants.
What puzzles the mind is government’s silence or rather half-hearted interest in the unfolding saga and potential dangers it poses in terms of adding to the unemployment load.
This issue needs government intervention in the same breath politicians would react to corporate companies when they close their doors for business – leading to unwanted retrenchments, subsequently adding more weight to unemployment, lest we forget the dire consequences of the divorce.
The onus is now on the gentlemen in blue suits in Parliament to stand up and be counted.
It’s time now for our national leaders to make their presence felt by obliging the corporate business world, including the stinking rich tenderpreneurs (BEEs) to start flexing their financial muscle and come to the fore in contributing something towards their social responsibilities.
Seriously, football as the country’s number one sporting discipline provides several jobs, not only to the playing personnel and technical staff, but dozens of vendors eke out a decent living from football through selling beverages and food at football matches during the MTC Premiership games.
Namibia is a country blessed with national resources whose profits and windfalls only land in the paths of certain selected individuals at the expense of the masses. Give to Caesar what is rightly his.
In conclusion, do I need to remind the entire NPL hierarchy that they have dismally failed their subjects by failing to bring sponsors on board, while blowing their own horn that Namibian football is a much sought-after commodity?
Surely not, because the sponsors do not really get the mileage they so dearly deserve when league matches attract less than 100 people.
Call me a wet blanket or whatever you want but my humble advice to my learned colleagues is: please do the honourable thing, strike while the iron is hot, tender your resignation without further ado, because you are the cause of all these shenanigans. I rest my case.