Sports Clubs to Go Commercial in Bahrain

      Published on Friday, 8 January , 2021      399      
Sports Clubs to Go Commercial in Bahrain


Bahrain’s clubs could be turned into commercial establishments under new procedures to be introduced by the government in two weeks.




Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Aymen Almoayed said a special government committee is finalising the move, which will be approved by the Cabinet.

He said nine clubs have come forward for swift transformation, but would have to get their boards or general assemblies’ approval.

The move comes as MPs unanimously voted on a Royal decree issued by King Hamad during the National Assembly recess to transform local sports clubs into businesses also under the same law. It has now been referred urgently to the Shura Council for review.

“We have a systematic work plan to elevate clubs, youth centres and athletes in the country,” said Mr Almoayed.

“The ministry doesn’t want to continue being a guardian on clubs’ affairs and it is time for full independence and us turning into a regulator, while allowing competitiveness through equal opportunities.”

He said there were no plans to market clubs globally in the current phase, but professional studies “are on the way”.

“We are working to promote investment in clubs’ properties,” said Mr Almoayed.

“Index statistics show that smaller clubs are set to benefit more since they already have better use of their properties than bigger clubs and that’s an indicator of them moving upwards in terms of higher revenues through company planning.”

The minister said media promotion for the company-club concept was drawing attention.

“We have nine clubs interested and more are on the way,” he said.

“One of the plans starting next season would be for a three-tier football league with premiership, first and second division for clubs.”

Meanwhile, major amendments to revamp and govern Bahrain’s clubs have been referred urgently by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Prime Minister, to the National Assembly.

The amendments to the 1989 Social, Cultural, Sports and Youth Clubs, Organisations and Societies Law would see a violating facility being fined BD1,000 every day until the infringement is removed. Should the offence be repeated, the daily fine will be doubled to BD2,000. However, the fine wouldn’t exceed BD50,000.

The Youth and Sports Ministry can impose a BD100,000 administrative penalty on any club for serious violations, including involvement in politics or religious activity.

The establishment could also be closed to stop the violation or have it cleared.

The ministry will also have the power to fine club chairmen, presidents or any board member up to BD2,000 for improper conduct or indisciplined behaviour.

However, the law does not apply to the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the Bahrain Paralympic Committee, federations and associations.

Any grievance for administrative decisions has to be taken to court.

The law has been referred by Parliament Speaker Fouzia Zainal urgently to the youth and sports committee for review.

Meanwhile, MPs postponed a vote on an urgent amendment to have closed joint stock companies listed under Bahrain Bourse.

MPs were at loggerheads with Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani over government-drafted amendment to the 2015 Commercial Registrations (CRs) Law that would give the bourse the power to review and issue permits for such companies.

MPs said it would rob the government of revenue, with the bourse being a company and not a government body.

However, Mr Alzayani pointed out that the bourse was fully owned by the government and under supervision of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the ministry, and it was governed according to international standards.

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Category Sport | 2021/01/08 latest update at 9:00 PM
Source : Albawaba | Photocredit : Google
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