The Premier Soccer League (PSL) executive committee
deserves a pat in the back for their decision to decline AmaZulu FC's
application to acquire the Mpumalanga Black Aces' status.
The deal was an ill-conceived one from the onset.
Not only would it have shown the middle finger to the
people of Mpumalanga who support Aces, but would have made a mockery of the
PSL's promotion and relegation process.
In case you have just crawled out from a rock
somewhere, AmaZulu - who will be campaigning in the National First Division
(NFD) after being relegated from the Absa Premiership as a result of finishing
last in the 16-team league - made a bid to buy Aces' status.
That Amazayoni (as Aces are known)
even considered the offer - mouthwatering as it was if the reported
figure of R82 million is correct - says a lot about their management.
However, the PSL's decision must have a number of
lessons for AmaZulu.
One: They must know that matches are won on the field
and not to rely on millions to retain your status.
Two: If they had that kind of money, it boggles the
mind why they did not spend it in buying quality players to keep them afloat in
Now, they must just do it the hard way by trying to
fight their way back.
For the PSL, this must serve as a wake-up call that if
they don't change their rules, there will always be a loophole for people to find
their way to the elite league via the backdoor.
AmaZulu were doomed to be relegated with the way they
played last season. The same goes for Moroka Swallows.
And all fingers point to poor management.
Incidentally, both clubs had Craig Roslee as a coach this
past season and now he holds the unpalatable record of being the first mentor
to relegate two clubs in one season.
He might argue that by the time he joined Swallows,
the damage had already been done. The counter argument would be that he should
have turned down the Swallows job if he thought it was an impossible task.
Secondly, some would point out that he even failed
when given the second chance to save the
club via the dreaded NFD playoffs.
At this stage, he was faced with two NFD sides in Jomo
Cosmos and Black Leopards where Ezenkosi emerged victorious.
Which brings me to another point.
Now that the PSL management has managed to score some
kudos with this decision, how about revisiting this crazy playoff set-up?
I mean, what would be more unfair than to give the
club that finishes 15th in the Absa Premiership a chance to retain their status
at the expense of the one that finishes second in the NFD.
That justice was done in the end as Cosmos emerged
triumphant after the sham, is not good enough. Can you imagine the grumblings
we would still be hearing from Jomo Sono
had his side - who finished as runners up in the NFD - missed on promotion to
Swallows or Leopards (who came third in the NFD).
It is indeed time our football bosses woke up and
smelled the coffee.
S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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