The Zimbabwe Saints are planning a return to the Premier Soccer League (PSL), with plans in the works to resurrect the club following many setbacks caused by internal squabbles.
Felix Dzumbunu, the man who brought Chauya Chikwata back to the PSL in 2011 after buying the Eagles’ franchise, is back as interim chairman, with former club chairman and ex-Zifa president Vincent Pamire chairing the board of trustees.
Dzumbunu said at the Zimbabwe Saints Sports Club in Queens Park on Friday that the club planned to return to the Premiership and that they had joined the Zifa Southern Region Division One League, where Talen Vision would be a tough competitor.
“We want to play football in the best places, whether it’s Rufaro, Mandava, and all that. Our mission is ‘you have got to walk first before you run’. Our wish is to be in Division One at least for a year. Next year or after one season, we really hope and we will fight that we be in the Premiership,” he said.
Dzumbunu said the mission to revive Zimbabwe Saints was already in motion and a team, currently under the tutelage of veteran Gibson Homela, had been assembled.
“This process is just starting now. There is a lot of work to be covered. We have started to put together a team that will be playing in Division One. Because of the challenges we are facing as a country and the world, there are a lot of challenges that are to do with the current crisis of COVID-19, so a lot of things had been put on hold and a lot of things are going a bit slow. But we are happy the pieces are coming together and it is our hope that we are going to get Zimbabwe Saints playing football again,” he said.
Dzumbunu said a lot of resources were needed for the club’s revival, adding that they had received support from a number of people, whom he said were backing the project.
“We have got a number of people that I would like to thank that have given us hope in the form of support which is critical as we all know that to run football, we need a lot of resources. We need the supporters without any doubt, but there is always a need for an injection of resources to make a dream like this come true. We are grateful for the support that we have been promised by our stakeholders,” he said.
Pamire admitted that he made a mistake when he left Zimbabwe Saints to join Zifa some decades ago.
“I was once Zimbabwe Saints chairman. I must accept, I think something went wrong somewhere. I must have made a mistake because to my knowledge, having bought this sports club and having left the team in the Premiership, I remember very well I called for a meeting at Stanley Square to tell them that I was leaving Zimbabwe Saints to go to Zifa,” he said.
“I also told them that this club should be used to generate funds to assist the team. I am saying I am taking responsibility because I think I passed the baton to the wrong people. We should have done due diligence, which we now will. We won’t allow it to happen again. We won’t let anyone disrupt the smooth running of the club.”
Pamire added: “Zimbabwe Saints is the missing link in football. If we just wanted to make money, we have a beautiful sports club, we would have gone for an academy like Aces, but that is not what the people of Zimbabwe want from Saints. The Zimbabwe Saints people want to see the club playing football, beating Highlanders, beating Dynamos and they will be very happy. We have heard their cry, talking to other stakeholders who are not here today and whom we cannot mention by name.”