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PREMIER Soccer League chief executive Kenny Ndebele says recommendations by the Portfolio Committee on Education, Sport, Arts and Culture for councils to reduce levies on stadiums could help cash-strapped clubs.

Ndebele made the plea for a review of levies last year when he appeared before the committee to discuss the state of football in Zimbabwe.

Currently, clubs pay 20 percent to local authorities, six percent to Sport and Recreation Commission and a further six percent to ZIFA from their gross gate takings.

Ndebele said the committee’s recommendations should be implemented as soon as possible.

Last year the league paid in excess of $131 000 in levies to the SRC alone, while ZIFA demanded almost a similar chunk from their gross income.

The same figure was remitted in 2013.

This year, with eight games into the season, a total of $23 863 has since been remitted to the SRC alone.

“That is what we have been crying for all along,” said Ndebele.

“We have said it time and again that we are being double taxed. Clubs are being made to release too much money because 20 percent goes to local authorities, SRC and ZIFA take six percent apiece.

“So, from the gross it means 32 percent has already been wiped off before any other expenses are looked into.

“Here we haven’t started talking about the expenses for preparations for the game for example, transport, accommodation and camping fees.

“Then, afterwards the clubs need to pay the referees, the police and the cashiers, among the overheads. At the end of the day the clubs net about 45 percent.

“This only means that when you see the stadium full, more than half the revenue does not belong to the club or the PSL. It goes towards expenses, which is not healthy for the survival of teams.”

Ndebele said the revenue from the gates was not reliable.

“Clubs survive mainly on donations, while few others have sponsorship. It’s a difficult situation. But that is probably why you have been seeing players taking clubs to court for failing to pay their salaries.

“Under the circumstances they cannot afford to if they cannot get sponsorship or other revenue streams. Their survival is threatened.

“That also probably explains why about 16 former PSL teams have gone into extinction since dollarisation in 2009.

“These were big projects which everybody hoped would bring excitement, but they all folded because of financial challenges.

“So, we want to thank the portfolio committee for coming up with such a recommendation,” said Ndebele.

Source : The Herald