JJD to Call It Quits

Windhoek — MTC Premiership strongman Johnny ‘JJD’ Doeseb has sent shockwaves through the Namibian football fraternity with the announcement that he will step down as NPL chairman when his term runs out in July this year.

The flamboyant and likable football administrator took over the reigns as chairman of the country’s flagship league in 2008 and immediately transformed the league into a formidable entity. Formerly at the helm of coastal giants Eleven Arrows, Doeseb is a passionate football fan and almost single-handedly led negotiations for the lucrative sponsorship deal with the NPL’s principal sponsor MTC. His administrative and business acumen persuaded the giant telecommunications company to invest over N$40 million over the next 3 years, the highest investment ever made by any corporate company in any sports code in Namibia.

Doeseb is the man solely accredited for his desire to turn the country’s flagship league into a much-sought-after commodity and a professional entity managed on strong business principles. Quizzed about his unexpected decision to walk away from a work in progress he helped to start, a cagey Doeseb cited lack of professionalism at club level to execute the basics, including the lack of serious commitment at Board of Governors level in terms of building a strong football brand. He also expressed dismay at the lack of development structures in domestic football. “Almost all the clubs campaigning in the MTC Premiership have developed a habit of sitting back arms folded waiting for manna to fall from heaven.

They are depending too much on MTC’s monthly grants and do absolutely nothing to generate their own revenues. And when their monthly grants are released a few days late, they start to complain bitterly, instead of doing something to sustain themselves,” charged an agitated Doeseb.

The Namibian business mogul says MTC invested a great deal of money in local football and all it gets in return is empty stadiums week in and week out, which is not fair. “If you invest so much and all you get is backstabbing and rumour-mongering from people at the highest level of football with whom you are supposed to share the same vision, it becomes pointless to make such worthy investments. We cannot maintain the current status quo if we are serious about taking the beautiful game to the next level. Surely, I cannot sit back and pretend as if everything is fine, while it’s the opposite. Our football needs lots of money and good leadership, but in the absence of both, we are wasting our time.”

On a parting note, Doeseb applauded MTC for what they are doing for sports in general, but could not resist a parting shot at the prophets of doom whom he claims still have the temerity to call MTC all sorts of names, because they want the company to invest and have its lips zipped. “Without the valuable input of MTC, sports in our country will be dead and buried, sports entities cannot pin their hopes for the sponsorship of all sporting disciplines on one corporate.”