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‘WESLIANS’ E100 000 SOS TO PLE!

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MBABANE – Just a day after the #SIPHILA LA Eswatini Mobile sponsored teams’ new slogan was publicised, it is already playing itself out.


Loosely translated, the slogan launched on Wednesday night at City Court Guest House means ‘Our survival is here’. It is no secret that Eswatini Mobile sponsors the country’s elite league giant clubs, being Mbabane Highlanders, Mbabane Swallows and Manzini Wanderers, plus First Division’s Tinyosi and Madlenya.


Each of the giant clubs get E80 000 monthly, mostly directed towards players’ salaries at Highlanders and Wanderers, in particular. However, it is also an open secret that these teams struggle when there is any delay in the release of the cash by the sponsor – it has already been reported twice that Wanderers had challenges paying players’ salaries on time.


Once again, the hub giants have challenges for last month’s expenses, not specified though, and investigations by this author proved that they have gone to the extent of seeking a loan amounting to E100 000 from the Premier League of Eswatini. Impeccable sources said this was the second loan since August, as they were lent the same amount just before the Eswatini Charity Cup.


“That was settled though. Now they have decided to seek another loan because of financial challenges they are having as a team, but I don’t know how the PLE will treat it when it gets to them, especially as clubs we were made to understand the loan scheme was stopped,” said one impeccable source in one of the elite league clubs, whose team also enquired about getting a loan this week.


On top of the loan application, it was established that the maroon and white hub side are the leading team in terms of gate collections since the start of the MTN League, which has now played up to its fourth round of matches. Wanderers are said to have raked in E93 000 in the first two matches and over E100 000 after the four league games they have played in the MTN League.


The money has been their share from the presale tickets in games they have been the host team, which includes the grand opening games that comprised the big derby between Highlanders and Swallows.
They also recently received E80 000 from the E100 000 MTN League participation fee, while they are one of the highest owing clubs in the PLE books in terms of fines and loans. At one point last season, it was reported that they owed over E400 000 and then towards the end, it was down to slightly more than E300 000.


According to further investigations, Wanderers have cited a delay by their sponsor, Eswatini Mobile, in releasing their E80 000 monthly subvention and want to use the money to cater for last month’s expenses. This is albeit some of the club’s players alleging early this week that they had not been paid their last month’s salaries, which would not be a first in recent times, as reported by this newspaper already in the last two months.

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