Swallows FC chairman, David Mogashoa has become the first high-profile administrator to openly call on the government to allow a controlled percentage of fans back into the stadiums. Mogashoa said that the DStv premiership and GladAfrica Championship clubs want to work with the government and develop a solid plan that will pave the way for a return to venues.
“This thing is possible‚ we should not be letting other countries to lead us with technology and other things. We will be ready as clubs to make sure that this process becomes a success. Remember, when we submitted the return to play document‚ our bid was one of the best because it covered everything. It cost a lot of money but lives were put first‚ and the same will be done with the one for allowing fans back into the stadium,” said Mogashoa.
“We will have to sit as the Board of Governors (BoG)‚ share ideas and present to government. As the BoG we need to sing with one voice and agree on certain issues because we must be careful when we make that request to government. We must talk percentages because stadiums are not the same when it comes to capacity,” he said.
He gave an example that because Dobsonville Stadium is a 14,000 capacity and FNB Stadium is 94,000 capacity. FNB‚ with a capacity of 94,000‚ can easily cope with 40,000 spectators and with social distancing, while Dobsonville can cope with 7,000. He said officials need to look at percentages and not numbers‚ and that there must be strict protocols, and any club found to breaking those protocols, will be banned until there is no more Covid-19.
“If you look at FNB Stadium‚ there are numbered rows and blocks and you need to be stricter on tickets because conditions have changed. People who sell tickets must adjust their systems and be able to capture the ID number‚ contact number and address so that when there is a problem we know where to find that person,” said Mogashoa.
Mogashoa said the clubs have suffered and continue to incur huge financial losses as there is no income from gate takings.
“We are paying between R200,000 and R300,000 just to play a match and you can’t recover that money from anywhere without gate takings. For a home game it cost about R200,000 because there are camps and other logistics. For an away match‚ it can be more now because you find there are flights that are not returning on the same day and you have to sleep over at extra costs of about R300,000,” he said.
“When people talk about the R2m grant for PSL clubs‚ that’s not money because it goes to logistics and we still have to pay salaries. You must also remember that clubs in the GladAfrica Championship have the same challenges as PSL clubs‚ but they have a grant of R500,000. Also‚ think of the people who were selling merchandise and food outside the stadium. They were making a legitimate living, but that income is now gone”
Mogashoa said he is making a call to government because the PSL is guided by government‚ and the supporters need to know that it is not the PSL that says they must not come to the stadiums. The PSL is following government’s protocols‚ hence they are making a call to the government.