Activities in domestic football have become virtually irrelevant in the absence of competitive premier league football after the country’s flagship league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL), failed in its desperate bid to solicit sponsorship from potential financial backers.
The writing was already on the wall when the league’s longtime partners MTC dug its heels in the sand refusing point-blankly to budge after the league’s hierarchy requested a sizeable increase in sponsorship monies.
The financially crippled NPL, under the stewardship of flamboyant business mogul Johnny “JJD” Doeseb, tabled a bloated budget of N$24 million per season as opposed to the previous annual budget of N$15 million – leaving a deficit of N$9 million.
However, MTC would have none of it and told the ambitious league authorities to find the N$9 million shortfall elsewhere.
Doeseb, who was duly elected NPL commander-in-chief in 2008, managed against all odds to bring on board MTC with a whopping sponsorship N$14.6 million in 2011.
In September 2015, the charismatic mining mogul announced that the country’s elite league needs an annual grant of N$40 million to become a fully fledged professional entity.
Last July 31, MTC granted the league time until the 31st of July 2016 to find the additional N$9 million from other potential sponsors or run the risk of losing the already available N$15 million set aside for the 2015/2016 football term.
July 7, 2016, Doeseb said tongue in cheek that the requested N$9 million was just a simple figure of 9 and M, promising that he was capable of finding the money easily.
August 11 2016, Doeseb is embroiled in an ugly spat with veteran Brave Warriors striker Rudolf Bester over a large portion of his transfer fee to PSL giants Orlando Pirates.
A defiant Doeseb vehemently claimed he was entitled to a certain percentage as administration fee (N$460,000).
August 23, NPL failed to solicit the required N$9 million sponsorship obliging MTC to terminate further negotiations, subsequently withdrawing its annual N$15 million sponsorship.
Few months later on the 5th of October 2016, Doeseb announced a dubious sponsorship of N$3 million from what many observers believed was a paper company Groot (Pty) Ltd, which is yet to materialize despite the hype that preceded the announcement.
On the 31st of October, Doeseb announced that the league would definitely kick off before end of the year 2016. Four days later, the league’s annual general assembly set February 2017 as the official kickoff for the delayed league activities.
Finally, with no sponsors in sight, Doeseb resurfaces as the good Samaritan revealing that he has been using his own resources to pay the monthly salaries of the three permanent staff personnel in the cash-strapped NPL administration.