Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN football giants Dynamos and Highlanders have not only failed to win the league title this year but they have lost out on a huge financial reward.
Both clubs, who are bankrolled by energy company Sakunda Holdings, have effectively surrendered the league crown to leaders FC Platinum.
Bosso last won the league honours in 2006 and it’s now routine for them to watch from the sidelines as champions are hoisted every season. They are out of the running for this year’s title and the best they can do right now is to finish in the top four.
On the other hand, the Glamour Boys were last on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League podium in 2014.
They are third in the log and a massive 11 points behind FC Platinum with just six games to play.
They will need more than just miracles to overturn the deficit and end up being the champions.
Nothing like that has ever happened in the history of Zimbabwean football.
While both giants can now chase alternative targets after waiving at the championship which is effectively FC Platinum’s to lose, the two teams have also missed out on a huge pay cheque.
Sakunda Holdings had promised both teams a cool US$150 000 for winning the league title which comes with participation in the CAF Champions League.
The country’s two biggest teams have also been eliminated in the Chibuku Super Cup with both bowing out at the quarter-final stage. Dynamos lost to defending champions FC Platinum in a penalty shootout while Bosso were bundled out via a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bulawayo rivals Bulawayo Chiefs.
Huge sponsorship from Sakunda Holdings was expected to aid the two giants’ quest to win silverware this year.
But both teams had huge player turnover as compared to other teams like FC Platinum and second-placed Chicken Inn.
FC Platinum even off-loaded some of their old horses like Rodwell Chinyengetere, Rahman Kutsanzira and Kelvin Madzongwe.
They have managed to keep virtually the same team they had from 2019 while adding more talent in Juan Mutudza and the returning Walter Musona.
The same cannot be said about Dynamos who have a new set of players while Bosso also lost some of their key members from the 2019 season.
Although both are expected to do better than what they have notched so far, the future looks bright if, like FC Platinum this year, they manage to retain the same squad in the coming season(s).
While losing out on a big pay cheque, Dynamos and Highlanders haven’t lost yet another opportunity pledged by Sakunda Holdings.
The teams are set for a benchmarking visit to at least three European countries each this October.
Dynamos will visit England, Spain and Germany.
DeMbare executive chairman, Isaiah Mupfurutsa, revealed members of his executive will be in the three countries to learn how they run their clubs.
“Of course, the visit is on. There is a lot of paperwork needed, of course, and we are still finalising on those issues,” said Mupfurutsa.
“We are grateful to Sakunda Holdings. They promised we will be visiting European countries to benchmark on how professional clubs are run.
“I am glad to say the visit is on. We have chosen England, Germany and Spain.
“We will learn a lot from the trip and things will never be the same again at Dynamos after the adventure.
“At the moment, we are still awaiting the paperwork to be completed and we see what happens. We are so excited as Dynamos.”
Mupfurutsa said although his club looks like they have lost out on a huge payout from Sakunda Holdings by failing to win the league title, the performance by the team has been top notch.
He said coach Tonderai Ndiraya, whom fans are demanding should be fired, has done very well under the circumstances.
“Tonderai Ndiraya has done extremely well. We are backing him to finish the season strongly. This is his first full season in charge of Dynamos and he is working with a number of players at the team for the first time.
“He has shown that he can transform the team. We are fully behind him and his players. Hopefully, he will improve on the show going forward.”