|DeMbare’s derby pay day|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00|
CHAMPIIONS Dynamos not only left the Rufaro with the bragging rights when they edged bitter rivals CAPS United in the 69th Premiership Harare derby on Saturday but they also smiled all the way to the bank with the biggest purse earned by any club so far this season after grossing a record-breaking US$135 000.
Midfielder Tawanda Muparati fired home a half volley nine minutes from time to ensure it was the blue half of the capital that left the old home of football to party.
The contest, which is traditionally one of the biggest duels on the calendar, lived up to its pre-match hype as the flagship fixture of the domestic game and attracted the highest attendance figures recorded at Rufaro this year despite the hike in entry charges by Dynamos.
DeMbare seeking to capitalise on the fact that it is month end when fans have a little more disposable income charged $5 for the cheapest ticket.
Fan also forked out US$10 and US$15 for the other bays.
The Harare giants were left with an estimated net income of US$79 511 to boost their coffers.
According to statistics, about 23 648 paid their way through the turnstiles on Saturday although the stadium, which has a capacity ranging between 26 000-30 000, appeared to be fully packed.
Ironically the derby had earlier last week been thrown in doubt after it clashed with the national Under-20 team’s African Youth Championships qualifier against Angola before diplomatic manouvres in the boardroom saved the fixture and brought it forward to Saturday.
Even DeMbare who initially had some reservations about playing on a Saturday were left smiling by the massive turnout that befitted the magnitude of a Dynamos against CAPS United match.
It proved to be a win-win situation as Dynamos cashed in on the timing, which was a month end and the Young Warriors also got a good crowd yesterday despite losing 1-0 to Angola.
Dynamos secretary-general Raymond Kazembe said he was happy with attendance but rued the huge bill of the expenses which gobbled up almost 40 percent of the earnings.
Harare City Council who own Rufaro got US$27 000 for the use of the stadium while the rest was dispersed to various expenses that include security, and levies to Zifa, PSL, Zimra and the Sport and Recreation Commission.
“It’s not everyday that you get to cash a huge amount like that from one match but it’s unfortunate that close to half that sum goes to expenses.
“It’s very unfair because, ideally, it’s the player who should be benefiting more from the money paid by people to watch a soccer match but that is not the case with the current system.
“Besides paying the players their allowances and bonuses, we have many commitments to meet as a club and it becomes difficult when most of the money goes to expenses.
“We have away fixtures to fulfil where we need food and accommodation. I think the solution for a club like Dynamos is to have our own stadium to cut on some of the expenses,” said Kazembe.
The attendance figures could be slightly lower compared to their previous game against Highlanders at Barbourfields last week, which attracted the biggest crowd this year of 25 957, but DeMbare still managed to smash the records in terms of revenue from the turnstiles.
Highlanders’ Battle of Zimbabwe Part 1 clash with DeMbare raked in US$104 445, which had surpassed the previous high of US$100 000 realised in the Harare derby between CAPS United and Dynamos in 2010.
This was the most attended match at Barbourfields in six years but as was the case with Saturday’s derby expenses gobbled up the biggest chunk of the revenue as Bosso were left with US$40 500 in their account from the proceeds.
Last year’s first leg of the Harare derby attracted 26 678 paying fans at the National Sports Stadium and grossed US$89 000 for the home team CAPS United. About 32 000 watched the Mbada Diamonds Cup first round match between the two giants again at the National Sports Stadium.
Crucially for Dynamos, they maintained their dominance over their opponents with Muparati returning to haunt CAPS United in the same manner he did last year.
DeMbare have not lost a league game to the Green Machine since April 2009 when Nyasha Mushekwi’s brace earned Makepekepe a vital 2-0 win.
Kazembe commended the behaviour by supporters from both divides, which was exemplary as they exhibited a degree of maturity in the manner they root for their teams.
“I want to thank the supporters for coming to the match with such a force. It was marvelous to see that supporters are coming together as a football family and I would like to applaud the bahaviour from both sets of fans as people enjoyed the game in a mature manner with no bad incidents reported.
“The same thing happened in Bulawayo and it’s something that is worth commending,” Kazembe said.
But for Makepekepe they would have to wait for the 70th edition of the derby to probably end Dynamos’ dominance over them.