Hunt calls for expanded PSL

2011-12-07 13:25

Johannesburg - SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt has suggested several more teams be introduced into the Premier Soccer League campaign in a bid to increase competition amongst the smaller clubs.

The PSL was reduced from 18 to 16 teams after the end of the 2001-02 season to avoid fixture congestion and, as a result, Ria Stars and Free State Stars were disbanded and the two teams were offered R8 million in exchange for opting out.

But Hunt, who took charge of his 500th top flight match when Matsatsantsa lost 3-0 to Orlando Pirates at the weekend, feels there are not enough games in the current domestic calendar.

"I think my feelings on South African football are well documented. We don't play enough football in this country, that's my feeling. I think the league is too small and I recall in my day we had 22 teams in the league," the former Seven Stars, Hellenic, Black Leopards and Moroka Swallows mentor told

"But now if you are knocked out early in the cups then you don't play any football and it is a huge disadvantage if you are not playing."

In comparison with the PSL's 30-game season, English Premier League teams play 38 league matches every term, and Hunt believes that fact is causing South African football to lag behind in terms of player development.

Hunt added: "When you have breaks like we have had it is very frustrating and I'm sure all the coaches feel the same. There are also international breaks, so I always feel we don't play enough football in this country."

SuperSport look to be on track to securing a fourth Premiership title in five years after finding themselves top of the standings by three points, marking a stark contrast from their 2010/11 campaign which saw them finish 20 points below eventual winners Pirates.

"If you look through the team, the average age is down (from last season) that's for sure and that's one thing I'm always conscious of. The average age is right and as a coach, you should never let the team get too old and that's what we are trying to do," he said.

"I thought last season we had a bit of a problem with that and certainly this season we have rectified that. We are much better."


  • Thulani - 2011-12-07 14:08

    Too bad hunt, it will just fall on deaf ears!!!

      Nontuthuzelo - 2011-12-09 14:00

      Hunt it talking the truth but SAFA administrators only cares about their teams and to fill their back pockets.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-12-09 16:14

      Nontuzelo, please improve your general knowledge, this has nothing to do with SAFA.

  • sh.fish1 - 2011-12-07 14:10


  • mtuzam - 2011-12-07 15:08

    competitive leagues around the world has 18-20 teams...and they play even on the christmas break. we now faced with a month out of action for local football....this has to end. PLS administrators...increase the taems to 18 next season...

  • Thaboep - 2011-12-07 16:46

    true Gavin, i second you

  • Thaboep - 2011-12-07 16:46

    true Gavin, i second that

  • vusi.lalas1 - 2011-12-07 18:33

    If you can ask why our PSL is got eighteen teams there is no difference our football is in denial you can see from the distance that something is not right.Hunt you our legend and that is why your are so successful, well said Mr.Hunt ......

      rossallenronnie - 2011-12-07 23:45

      vusi safa and psl only care how much they put in their pockets they dont care if we no 50 or no 1 i agree we must be at least 20 teams reduce cup competitions look england teams got fa cup and some other cup while we have mtn;telkom and nedbank cup we can tale out mtn andd increase price money of league winners to R15 mil. they must also decreae number of foreign players and make rule that strikers must be south african players and also a rule that there must be at least 3 under 23 or under 20 players in the team or a league for u 20; u 23 and women soccer

  • Simon - 2011-12-08 02:53

    I agree with Hunt, there should be 20 teams in the league, cause sometime we stay for three weeks without domestic games.

  • Tokollo - 2011-12-08 07:52

    One thing that is iritating is that when-ever there is a cup competion the PSL league goes on a break, What was the reason to stop all PSL mid-week games since only Pirates and Wits will be contesting Final.

  • Tabile - 2011-12-08 10:36

    I am sorry to say that Mr. Hunt well documented feelings are one sided and lack logic. PSL games were put to halt because of the Bafana Bafana fixtures, if we add more teams then the league will run into chaos. A congested league is not the solution, the English league is also considering trimming down. He wants to blame the league for his lack of tactics to steer SuperSport United to domestic cup competition...

  • Tabile - 2011-12-08 10:38

    Maybe he should talk about bringing supporters into game, that is what our football needs in the context of PSL administration....

      Len - 2011-12-09 13:54

      @Tabile. I agree with you on the issue of bringing supporters to the game, but disagree on the number of games. There are just too many breaks in the league and the reason there these breaks is because of the too many cup competitions. You talk of congestion, and yet teams organise mini-tournaments each time there is a break, which in essence means clubs find the breaks interrupt their preparations, readiness. This leads to inconsistency of the teams and players. One day Supersport humiliate Kaizer chiefs and then they themselves end up being humiliated by Pirates. A league that goes on regularly despite cup competitions create enough interest from fans. Each break messes things up. On the issue of supporters, I agree that some of the smaller teams are too keen on a date with Chiefs or Pirates, but do nothing for the game. Even the bigger teams keep moving stadium, and this results in teams unable to sell season tickets. The PSL is at fault here. Team should select one stadium as their home ground and start selling season tickets

  • Hatimzubeir - 2011-12-08 20:06

    in ur issue hunt for african soccer is very bed.

  • Sinqulile - 2011-12-09 10:21

    Well said Mr Hunt we need competition and also that will force all teams to increase their capacity interms of producing players

  • Len - 2011-12-09 13:47

    Agreed, Gavin.

  • Jackson - 2011-12-10 16:24

    Great call Gavin. This will increase employment opportunities for our footballers as 4 more teams would employ about 100 players. It would increase game time for soccer lovers in this country. Most importantly our stadiums which we inherited from the world cup legacy will be utilized...have you noticed how much people from Mpumalanga and PE fill their stadiums whenever a PSL team would take a soccer match to their stadium. These provinces, including N. Cape, would have a chance of representation in the PSL if the slots are increasesd.

  • matswane.maphutha - 2011-12-12 13:23

    agreed, but while doing that pls reduce the number of foreigners in our league....they partly responsible for our football downscale.

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