The uncertainty surrounding Township Rollers’ financial matters came to a halt this week when Township Rollers club financier Jagdish Shah and the club’s interim committee on Tuesday agreed that the wealthy businessman will continue bankrolling the club until the end of February next year.
The meeting came hot on the heels of last week Wednesday’s meeting led by local sports’ statesman Dickson Gabanakgosi where Shah reiterated his stance that he could assist Rollers as long as he was not going to work with another long time backer of the club Somerset Gobuiwang. The two have together been financing Rollers through a company they equally own called Township Holdings. But the two fell out after Shah accused Gobuiwang of financial irregularities and vowed never to work with him again as they don’t share the same financial philosophy on the Rollers’ business. After a high court judge had also ruled as illegal the arrangement of Township Holdings running the affairs of the club, the financiers felt left out and queried why they should continue assisting Rollers if the law has barred them from benefitting from financing the club.
The club then sought to speak to the two men in an effort to find common ground where the financial backing would not be seen to be outside the law. Each one of them pledged support for the club, but with the conditions on Gobuiwang for Shah. Although the Wednesday meeting last week sought to get the two men to work together, it turns out the move failed and the interim committee later called back Shah this Tuesday to present the latest arrangement that will last until February 28. This is about the time of the Rollers’ Annual General Assembly where Rollers’ membership is expected to endorse the move and for a new acceptable arrangement that suits both parties will be made.
An amendment of the constitution is thus expected to be made that will suit accommodate Shah. Sources close to the matter say the two parties were expected to sign some memorandum of agreement assuring Shah he would be paid back by the club should the envisaged arrangement fail. The Rollers’ faithful was on tenderhooks wondering what would happen to their club should the finance injectors pull out of the team that spends around six hundred pula on a monthly basis. Shah today confirmed his decision to continue working with the club. “I will be financing the team until next year because they have requested me to do that until they make a final decision early next year,” he said, adding that he was doing this for the good of the club that he wants to see grow. Shah has also confirmed interest from numerous clubs from Botswana who offered him up to 100 percent ownership of their clubs. The said clubs wanted to take advantage of the impasse between Rollers and Shah who is reported to have so much wealth he could turn any team into the country’s best.
Jagdish Shah pictured on the day he was first introduced into the Rollers family