BARELY a week after the conclusion of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season, relegated side Nichrut are in danger of folding after benefactor Nicholas Gara has indicated he is withdrawing his funding to the club.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Gara’s pocket had been stimulating the club throughout their unsuccessful flirtation in the topflight, having been promoted only last year.
The club’s chief executive officer, Admire Hapazari, confirmed Gara had indicated he was no longer bankrolling the club, which was demoted to the Zifa Central Region Division One.
“Our benefactor has decided to withdraw his sponsorship, which is very unfortunate. He informed us when we had our last lunch as a team recently,” Hapazari said.
The Shurugwi businessperson, who has interests in mining, bore all the team’s expenses, including players’ salaries, bonuses, travelling and camping expenses.
The club was named after him and wife Ruth.
Hapazari, however, wore a brave face, saying the team would not follow in the footsteps of the likes of Lengthens, Sporting Lions, Douglas Warriors, Gunners, Monomotapa, Motor Action, Hardbody and Tripple B, who disappeared in recent times soon after getting demoted from the premiership.
“We cannot mourn, but thank him (Gara) for being illustrious in driving this team into the Premier League. He has been behind us in winning and losing moments. We made memories with him. But as a team, we have to move on. I want to assure our fans and followers that the club will not go into oblivion. We will make efforts for it to remain afloat.”
He said they were now looking for a sponsor to take over from Gara.
“We are appealing for sponsorship from all corners of the country. This team is the flagship of Shurugwi, and we have taken ourselves to task to save this brand from dying. By all means, we will see to it that the team competes in Division One, and if possible return to the topflight,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nichrut has given players and technical team the green-light to move to other clubs and coach John Nyikadzino has already switched to ambitious Central Region outfit Sheasham.
Lanky striker Rodrick Mutuma has been linked with a return to Dynamos.