Irvin Khoza went to great lengths to explain the reason for approving the controversial sale of Bloemfontein Celtic’s franchise to the former owners of First Division club Royal AM.
CAPE TOWN – At Tuesday’s press conference, the chairman of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Irvin Khoza went to great lengths to explain the reason for approving the controversial sale of Bloemfontein Celtic’s franchise to the former owners of First Division club Royal AM FC.
By the time the Celtic sale had been rubber-stamped, Royal AM FC had already sold their status to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).
The two transactions drew wide-scale derision and disbelief since Royal AM are in bad standing with the PSL and are awaiting a Disciplinary Committee outcome after they were found guilty of no-shows at four promotion/relegations matches last month.
TTM are in bad standing with some players, who are still waiting to be paid after several months. Some of these debts stem from the purchase of cash-strapped Bidvest Wits just over a year ago.
Khoza said the Celtic sale was discussed over three days, but decisions by the PSL over the last few days resulted in outcomes that moved at breakneck speed, given the snail’s pace at which the PSL usually functions.
In respect of selling Celtic’s franchise, Khoza said sentiment was a major factor because of the club’s heritage, culture and history. At any given time, Celtic could command as much support as Chiefs at a match venue.
However, Khoza said it was a question of economics, and the livelihood of people was at stake.
Khoza said: “You hear people saying; no, you can’t sell this club, but what do you do?
“The issue of sustainability is a problem. It happens even when we are dealing with discomfort in our decisions. There are two things. We look at the risk of insolvency of the club. If someone says I cannot afford it, what do you do?”
The result of the two transactions is that Celtic’s PSL status has transferred to Royal AM and will relocate from Bloemfontein to Durban.
Royal AM’s First Division status goes to TTM and will move from Durban to Thohoyandou.
Khoza also justified the haste at which these moves were made because the PSL had an obligation to start the domestic league with 16 teams this weekend.