DESPITE what looked like a bumper crowd in the aborted Highlanders and Dynamos clash, less than 20 000 supporters paid to watch the “Battle of Zimbabwe” last Sunday at Barbourfields Stadium, according to figures released to B-Metro Sport.
Statistics show that 18 177 fans paid to watch the match that lasted slightly more than 40 minutes before it was abandoned due to crowd trouble.
Assistant referee Thomas Kusosa courted the ire of the home supporters when he allowed what seemed like an offside Dynamos striker Christian Epoupa to equalise for the Harare giants.
The match ended prematurely at 1-1.
Bosso midfielder and captain Rahman Kutsanzira had given the Bulawayo giants the lead in the 23rd minute.
“As the norm the Bulawayo City Council deducted 20 percent of the gross earnings in gate takings for the use of Barbourfields Stadium while other institutions such as Zifa, the Premier Soccer League and Sports and Recreation Commission take their share six percent each.
“A total of 18 177 fans paid to watch the match,” said club treasurer Donald Ndebele.
He, however, would not reveal how much the club made from the match after the mentioned deductions as he did not have the actual figures at hand.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police also takes its share from gate takings.
Each police officer is paid per hour and the amounts vary depending on the rank of the officers from the constables right up to their bosses.
The number of police officers assigned for a match is also determined by the magnitude of the game and fans that are expected to watch it.
The Sunday match had over 60 police details including dogs.
In his maiden Press conference as the new Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube told the media that Highlanders makes 33 cents for every US dollar that is paid by a supporter.
He also bemoaned the high charges that are gobbled by other institutions like the PSL, Zifa and the SRC.
“We surely cannot depend on gate takings alone to survive because that is just not practical. We need other means of generating revenue such as the sale of club merchandise and attracting additional sponsors to keep Highlanders afloat,” said Dube.
Bosso face a fine for the crowd disturbances that rocked Barbourfields Stadium in addition to a ballooning debt of over $800 000.