Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
WHEN banker Isaiah Mupfurutsa agreed to take up the post of Dynamos chairman, he was berated by many of his friends and family.
With all the historical boardroom squabbles and chaos, on and off the pitch, a broke Dynamos was not a good place to go for a professional with reputation to protect.
But, his administration have managed to steady the ship, just two years down the line, and they have embarked on a massive restructuring to woe back corporate partners and the confidence of sponsors.
Mupfurutsa told The Herald it is no longer business as usual at the Glamour Boys.
DeMbare have a dark history of administrative chaos despite the success they have written on the pitch where they remain the country’s most successful football club.
“As a club, we are embarking on capacity building where we are putting in place structures that support growth and progress,” he said.
“We are not yet there but we are building towards professionalism.
“We are putting in place structures that will culminate in fulfilling the club licensing requirements. It’s work in progress.”
DeMbare have since roped in former ZIFA chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze, to lead their secretariat.
Mashingaidze comes with vast football and administrative knowledge and could transform business at their National Sports Stadium office.
He might have a controversial past but there is no doubting that, when it comes to football administration, he is up there with the best in the country.
Mashingaidze played a leading role in getting the Glamour Boys get their flagship corporate partners.
So far, the Harare giants have hit a big jackpot after landing a multi-million sponsorship deal with Gold Leaf Tobacco, who committed themselves for five years, starting last season.
They also enjoy sound backing from Nyaradzo, ZLG, 4May and Fidelity Life, who come under the Premier Soccer League umbrella deal.
“The tranquillity that we are enjoying now has been made possible by our sponsors Gold Leaf Tobacco,’’ Mupfurutsa said.
“We have also had good backing from Nyaradzo and ZLG, who provide us with water. We are also indebted to 4May, they have been dressing our coaches since the days of Lloyd Mutasa.
“In fact, we will be unveiling more partners very soon.
“It’s unfortunate we were disturbed by the coronavirus lockdown. We cannot conduct business normally under the current situation but there is good news coming up.
“There are also a lot of well-wishers who have come on board and this has really helped us look after the club, players and staff. It’s really difficult to lead people on hungry stomachs.
“The extension of our partnership with Nyaradzo Group, for another three years, is another vote of confidence by local partners in the Dynamos brand.’’
The club boss said they were all united in pursuit of a common goal — to take the Glamour Boys back to the top of the domestic football tree.
“Above everything, we are working as a unit. We are one big institution, brought together for one common purpose which is to make DeMbare great again,’’ he said.
“There is unity of purpose at all levels. We have some common values that we cherish as we try as much as we can to be professional.
“We believe in the values of hard work, transparency and integrity.
“Of course, big things may not be achieved overnight but at least we are pulling in one direction.
“We have so much respect for our predecessors, we recognise that they played their part and laid the ground on which we are building on.
“We also acknowledge the value of everyone who belongs to the DeMbare family. We do a lot of consulting.”
Dynamos have not won the championship since 2014 and they have embarked on a rebuilding exercise.
Gold Leaf Tobacco have been taking care of their wage bill and all the operational expenses since last year.
The company also have a big stake in the ownership of Malawi champions, Big Bullets, who are under the tutelage of Callisto Pasuwa.
Athough at Dynamos, they remain sponsors, at Big Bullets, who are Malawi’s biggest football club, they have a stake in the ownership of the club.
Some analysts have been arguing that this is the only way that a club like DeMbare can also realise its full commercial value.
The company has provided funding for the Glamour Boys to invade the market this year as the club look to turn back the hands of time to the days they dominated the domestic scene.
Mupfurutsa wants DeMbare to set benchmarks in Zimbabwe both on and off the pitch.
“Dynamos Football Club is on a business trajectory and we shall strive to turn the club into a business partner of choice through embracing best practices.
“Poor governance, and any other vices, shall have no place at Dynamos Football Club. We believe that we should be at the front-line in the thrust to embrace professionalism through the FIFA Club Licensing framework.
“We would like to be the champions of best practices in Zimbabwean football, making our club an attractive investment partner.
“The progress we have made to date, in terms of attaining good governance benchmarks, has seen our anchor sponsors increase their support for the club and more partners have begun to show interest in partnering our club, locally and abroad.’’
The changes at DeMbare haven’t gone unnoticed.
Nhamo Tutisani, the vice-president of CAPS United, the Glamour Boys biggest city rivals, believes there is something good taking place at the country’s biggest football club.
Tutisani, who believes in the transformation of domestic football clubs into commercial entities, said he had noticed that a number of companies are going into bed with the Glamour Boys. Analysts have always argued that domestic football can only be in good health if the Big Three of DeMbare, Makepekepe and Bosso are doing well.