Elevation

SIMBA SPORTS CLUB is a business and sporting success story

- By Michael Gillbee

Simba SC have been enjoying a huge run of success in Tanzania since 2018. With millions in investment from Africa’s youngest billionair­e, “Mo” Dewji, income from several sporting achievemen­ts and a concise business plan and long-term goals, Simba SC is on the path to yet more success and revenue.

Simba Sports Club is a profession­al football team based in Kariakoo, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The club was establishe­d in 1936, firstly as “Queens”, changing the name then to “Eagles”, then to Sunderland. But, in 1971, they renamed themselves the Swahili term for Lion – Simba! They are one of the two major clubs in Tanzania, sharing a rivalry with club Young Africans. In total, Simba have won 22 league trophies, five

domestic cups and have several CAF Champions League participat­ions. It is also one of the biggest clubs in East Africa, having won the CECAFA Club Championsh­ip for an impressive six times. To give you an idea of their rise to success, in 2020 Simba SC were the fastest growing Instagram account among football clubs, with 1.9 million followers and a growth of 89% from the previous year.

Simba Sports Club model of success in Tanzania

Africa’s youngest billionair­e, Mohammed ‘Mo’ Dewji, poured millions into Simba SC to turn the club’s fortunes around. Dewji paid Sh 20 billion as an investor for a 49 percent share hold in Simba Sports Club and ever since Mohammed Dewji took control of current Tanzanian reigning champions the club and its business model have become a revelation. On his Twitter page, Dewji posted what it took to get Simba to where it is.

“Simba required a leader that has a vision, a lot of patience, a good listener, tolerance and respect for others. Not forgetting a lot of CASH to burn”, the post read. In 2018, the team was able to embark on a pre-season trip to Turkey and to recruit quality players in order to deepen their squad, like former Gor Mahia defender Joash Onyango, in order to make them competitiv­e internatio­nally and domestical­ly.

The club has also been able to invest in key infrastruc­tures including building a modern stadium and a training ground. Dewji’s long term vision has always been to propel Simba to become among the most successful clubs on the African continent.

From 2018 to the present day, Tanzania’s football giants, Simba SC, are experienci­ng a period of extended grace due to the great success the club has achieved in continenta­l and local competitio­ns.

To put that into perspectiv­e, Simba SC has lifted

Africa’s youngest billionair­e, Mohammed ‘Mo’ Dewji, poured millions into Simba SC to turn the club’s fortunes around. Dewji paid Sh 20 billion as an investor for a 49 percent share hold in Simba Sports Club and ever since Mohammed Dewji took control of current Tanzanian reigning champions the club and its business model have become a revelation. On his Twitter page, Dewji posted what it took to get Simba to where it is.

four Mainland Premier League titles, two Azam Sports Federation Cups and four Community Shields.

Internatio­nally, the club has reached the CAF Champions League quarterfin­als twice, during the 2018/2019 season, beaten by TP Mazembe 4-1 on aggregate and then 2020/21, facing South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs, with the “Amakhosi” emerging victors on a 4-3 aggregate.

Simba SC, by reaching the quarterfin­als of the CAF Champions League twice, has earned $ 1,300,000 as cash prize.

Moreover, Simba has earned a further $

560,000 from selling two of its key players, Luis Miquissone, who sealed a move to Egypt’s Al

Ahly for $ 1 million and Clatous Chama, moved to Morocco’s RS Berkane for $ 600,000.

The club have earned a lot of dividends in the past seasons and that has allowed them to grow even further and assert their dominance.

However, due to growing costs and rising marketvalu­e of the team, as much as those numbers seem, they can only finance their operations for one season. Simba SC can also deploy those earnings elsewhere in very interestin­g projects that aid in the developmen­t of Tanzanian football.

For example, the Gwambina Stadium in Misungwi District, Mwanza, was built at a cost of about 5

926 312 Rand, that features natural grass field, a capacity crowd of 11 thousand and car park. Within the three years that Simba SC has amassed such an amount of money, they can build five similar stadiums of the same capacity and still remain with funds.

Simba could also build hostels for players similar to that of Azam FC in three different venues. Azam FC is the only Tanzanian football club with the most modern hostels used by their senior and junior teams. It has a state-of-the-art swimming pool and gym, dining hall, and conference hall.

Simba SC could also construct two three-star hotels that could become a sustainabl­e and constant source of income for the club.

But in order to further the growth and progressio­n of the Tanzanian football scene, Simba should focus on erecting a modern academy to develop its talent at grass-roots level and bring further income from sales generated by it, similar to what is happening across Europe, with the Sporting Clube de Portugal Academy that has produced two players, Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, that together have earned six golden balls. Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s Academy, that two years ago sold Portuguese Internatio­nal, João

Félix for the World’s fifth ever largest transfer fee, 126 million euros. Or the likes of the Barcelona FC Academy of Manchester United Academy, all bearing fruits at the highest level, such as Lionel Messi that has now left Barcelona and gone to Paris St-German.

To that end, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) is building two major football centres, one in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam and the other in Tanga.

The facilities will have artificial and natural grass training grounds, hostels, swimming pools, dining halls, conference halls, and lounge areas.

Former Simba striker, Musa Hassan went on record as saying ‘’if you see such success then you should know the investment that Simba’s Board of Directors Chairman, Mohammed Dewji, and the club have made is paying off, so, I believe in the next few years we will make even greater strides.’’

Various stakeholde­rs have stressed that Simba’s investment, as well as the side’s ability to fulfil its goals, have brought the club to where it is.

Simba Sports Club has shown, through its billionair­e investor Mohammed Dewji that with strong leadership and funds deployed with a concise and long-term plan, the fortunes of a football team – or any sports team for that matter – can be turned into long-term success and reap large dividends.

For example, the Gwambina Stadium in Misungwi District, Mwanza, was built at a cost of about 5 926 312 Rand, that features natural grass field, a capacity crowd of 11 thousand and car park. Within the three years that Simba SC has amassed such an amount of money, they can build five similar stadiums of the same capacity and still remain with funds.

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 ??  ?? Photo by samson tarimo on Unsplash
Photo by samson tarimo on Unsplash
 ??  ?? Photo created by www.slon.pics
Photo created by www.slon.pics
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 ??  ?? Mohammed “Mo” Gulamabbas Dewji Tanzanian billionair­e businessma­n. Owner of MeTL Group
Mohammed “Mo” Gulamabbas Dewji Tanzanian billionair­e businessma­n. Owner of MeTL Group

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