Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
CHICKEN Inn went into their league encounter against Highlanders at Barbourfields last Sunday aiming to get their championship quest back on track as well as to use Bosso’s popularity to generate some revenue.
At the end of the day, the Gamecocks failed to achieve any of two missions. Highlanders surprised the title aspirants with a 4-0 emphatic win. Bosso’s poor form of late was to cause more misery for the Gamecocks executive as they walked away with just $ 1 398,05 as their share from the gate takings.
A total of 2 523 fans paid to watch the match between the two Bulawayo teams with $8 033 raised from tickets sales. From that amount, Bulawayo City Council, the owners of Barbourfields took $1 606,60, $1 593 went to the Zimbabwe Republic Police, match officials were paid $896, the Sports and Recreation Commission as well as Zimbabwe Football Association each got $481,98.
Sunday’s gate takings were a sharp contrast to the $22 770 raised from the same fixture last year where Chicken Inn netted $9 737,04. In 2016, 6 820 fans paid to watch the match which concluded in a 1-1 draw. The end of the fixture was characterised by violence when Bosso fans entered the field of play and beat up police officers when referee Nkosikhona Moyo blew his final whistle.
Chicken Inn treasurer, Mlungisi Moyo lamented the poor attendance which left them with a paltry amount to put into their coffers.
“We only made $1 300 on Sunday, we were disappointed by the attendance, we were expecting to make money but the attendance was just poor. We usually make money from this fixture, what happened was a tragedy for us financially, it was a calamity. I am disappointed we lost but even more disappointed that we didn’t make money. This is the money we use to cushion the sponsor so when we don’t make money it is a burden to the sponsor,’’ Moyo said.
Highlanders had gone for seven matches without a win which saw the bulk of their fans stay away after witnessing their side put up a lethargic show in a 0-0 draw against Bantu Rovers in a midweek fixture at the same venue.
Clubs like Chicken Inn with a few supporters only make money in their home matches against the big teams like Caps United, Dynamos and Highlanders.
It has not been a good last few weeks for Chicken Inn who have seen their championship hopes dashed by three straight losses to Yadah, Caps United and Highlanders.
More misery followed for the Gamecocks when they were booted out of the country’s most rewarding club competition, the Chibuku Super Cup.
Chicken Inn were found guilty for causing the abandonment of their first round clash with Yadah at Ascot Stadium in Gweru with the match awarded to Yadah on a 3-0 scoreline. On top of that, Chicken Inn were fined $2 000 and will not be part of the Chibuku Super Cup next year. — @Mdawini_29