Khoza slams SuperSport

2012-05-23 09:08

Johannesburg - Premier Soccer League and Orlando Pirates chairperson Dr Irvin Khoza has issued a statement damning SuperSport United's "mindless utterances" in regard to the Buccaneers' new sponsorship deal.

Last week Pirates, along with fellow Soweto club Kaizer Chiefs, put pen to a mammoth R1 billion deal with mobile giant Vodacom, with both clubs set to earn around R100 million per year, over a period of five years.

On Tuesday, Matsatsantsa CEO Jose Ferreira launched a stinging attack on the trio, claiming the agreement was "not sustainable" and that South African football is now "in serious trouble".

However, Dr Khoza has now responded to those claims, and issued a statement late on Tuesday evening.

The statement read: I read with grave concern mindless utterances attributed to the SuperSport United Chief Operating Officer and coach in response to the sponsorship announcement of our nations' two largest clubs, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, by a key supporter of football in our country, Vodacom.

I have been observing with sadness how Gavin Hunt, the SuperSport United coach, has in the last few years resorted to mindless tirades aimed at everyone other than himself all in his quest to divert attention from his recent lack of achievement. This is an accomplished coach, who characterised 'cool', and never make any of these outbursts when he was on the driving seat winning three Premierships in a row. Mamelodi Sundowns, which SuperSport United is facing in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday, was not spared from Hunt's tirade. Is this another of his diversionary tactics - in case he loses to Sundowns on Saturday?

The joining of Hunt by Jose Ferreira, SuperSport United Chief Operating Officer now makes me question if this is SuperSport United Football Club and Multichoice, their parent company's official position. I am responding publicly to this mindless action by people who should know better because the courtesy of behind closed doors discussions will encourage the incorrigible to join in this 'gang- bang' of mindlessness.

We have worked very hard in the last fifteen years to ensure that the PSL brand drives the recovery of our football from many years of being undervalued to the point that affect the quality of our game in the continent and the world. Our competition is not only local. Thanks to SuperSport, the channel that owns SuperSport United, our local product competes in real time with the well funded leagues in Europe.

We have made significant progress in this regard. When we started, fifteen years ago, clubs received from the league a grant of a million rands per annum. Today all the clubs in the PSL receive a grand of a million rands a month. This bears testimony to the power of the PSL as a channel of choice for South African marketers eager to reach the esteemed and loyal following of our league. So valuable is the value proposition that we have created that SuperSport, the company that owns SuperSport United, outbid the SABC to acquire broadcast rights at an investment of two billion rands.

The sacrifice and selflessness of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in creating an equitable and competitive league cannot be over emphasised. Distribution of proceeds in the PSL is done the same for each team notwithstanding the size and contribution by Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. In mentioning the players he claims to have lost, Hunt chooses to omit the high prices SuperSport charged. Every time Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs express an interest in players, prices sky rockets. To now decry the sponsorship that Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs command due to their market positions is not only deflationary but create a risk of devaluing football in South Africa once more.

Hunt and Ferreira's tirades seem to suggest that the only measure of equity that they would accept is when SuperSport United is dominating the league. Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are supposed to be mere numbers in a league dominated by them with the support of their rich parent company. This is besides their playing week in and week out in near empty stadiums.

I do not know whether to attribute these utterances to ignorance or mischief making. Whichever is the reason, the effect is the same. I am responding publicly to this mindlessness because our sponsors and partners, who have an appreciation of our value, are now finding themselves under pressure to defend their investments in football because of the questions resulting from utterances from these careless and callous people.


  • Hugo - 2012-05-23 09:42

    The Iron Duke

  • Makatikamusona - 2012-05-23 09:46

    Supersport have got no reason of whatsoever to talk about lack of sponsorship, as I Khosi support I pay a lot to support them,two premium subscriptions. All they need to do is market themselves to their supporters

  • Michael Mocke - 2012-05-23 10:19

    All PSL teams (Coaches) must work hard to improve the standards of SA Soccer so that supporters can fill up stadiums rather making stupid commends about sponsorship. The PSL can only become better if we get supporters to fill up stadiums every game!!!

  • musazwane - 2012-05-23 10:24

    Thank you Chairman. Hahahahahahaha!!!

  • Francois - 2012-05-23 10:29

    says the one with millions in his pocket. If only Chiefs got this deal Irvin would be shouting and blowing his trumpet.

      Lincoln - 2012-05-25 15:29

      Thank God Irvin always initiates and brings Kaizer along into such deals to smear rotten eggs on your face siiiss Francois

  • Daniel - 2012-05-23 10:48

    I like I like Dr Khoza.Your are so right!

  • Thando Cagwe - 2012-05-23 10:52

    that was well said Mr Khoza but i personally think its just a waste we all know Gavin Hunt is just a cry baby, 1 would swear his a spectator the way he goes on geez

  • lmathebe - 2012-05-23 10:57

    If rules and regulations were to change:i would charge chiefs and pirates R200 for watching other clubs play.

  • Pst - 2012-05-23 11:43

    Jah! the iron duke, realy! shapa khoza shapa.

  • skhumba.mvi - 2012-05-23 12:38

    hay, No comment...the iron duke has spoken well - - - -

  • MegaChigzo - 2012-05-23 16:09

    Well said Dr. Khoza, Hunt needs to just \Sit Down\ as Nonhle Thema would say. He's just a hater! plain and simple, but remember Duke you need haters coz they are a measure of how well you're. The level of their cries is a measure of your success.

  • mapioza - 2012-05-23 16:17

    It is well and proper that the Chairperson comment and direct the whole issue. Hunt and his manager must seek ways to improve and hunt for better sponsorships, and stop resorting to cowardise. It is not Mr Khoza's fault that investors are keen to invest in the most lucrative teams in Africa, and possibly in the world. They should just take a leaf from the Mighty Bucaneer's book and win trebles. In that way, investors will come rolling. Also, they should learn how to market their team and gain more fans. As a die-hard Bhakajuju supporter, I find it rather stupid on their part to run to the press and discuss such issues. Discussions are done on the pitch of play and in the boardrooms. Please the SuperSports guys, stop being babies and behaving like morons and start doing what is right. Thank you for that elaborative explanation, Our Chaiperson.

  • thabo.sedibe07 - 2012-05-24 22:11

    @Francios, Chiefs are getting this deal because of Irvin period!!!

  • Lincoln - 2012-05-25 15:43

    Thank you Dr Irvin "Iron Duke" Khoza you are my favourit & favourite hero and more, how i wish to work for you some day. Your talent as the best football admistrator and master/tactful/strategic negotiator is known not only here but in Africa and Internationally as well. So don't mind the haters like Hunt. Celtic contribution in pulling crowds is well commended despite being below par when it comes to money tand resources this is when compared to Supersport. Hunt is hermit and not charismatic and thinks only of himself, i've never heard Hunt thank the supportes of Matsantsa to show that he endears himself to them and that he is doing this for the supporters/fans, we are after all the "customers" of football. Hunt is only concerned about his career and he is aloof with his players and hence players like Sboniso Gaxa, Laffor, Teko Modise find it easy to leave him, not only because of moving to big teams but he is simply a heartless and yes i agree with you Dr Khoza he is mindless. Hunt simply thinks he is just a coach, all members of the team must always strive to bring the supporters to the stadium in their numbers and Hunt is a sad individual who needs counselling as he is forever complaining. I'm sorry for saying this , he is a kind of guy that will still complain even if he received one of the greatest b... in his life from his wife...shame uzobastrong

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