Absa Premiership

A light at the end of the dark tunnel for Moroka Swallows

2016-05-17 18:33
Moroka Swallows (File)

Cape Town - A glimmer of light has emerged at the end of the unending dark tunnel for double-relegation Soweto soccer giants Moroka Swallows.

The estate of Dieter Bock, which assumed effective ownership of Swallows following the death of the billionaire German business impresario, has revealed that it is prepared to relinquish control of the fallen, faltering one-time glamour club whose relegation from the PSL's second-tier NFD to the third-tier Motsepe League became a fait accompli after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Thanda Royal. This a mere season after The Birds were relegated from the Premier Soccer League.

While under-pressure Swallows CEO Leon Prins, who was appointed by Bock to control the day-by-day running of the club for a period that has extended to almost 16 years, will still technically have to agree to a change in ownership, it would appear inconceivable now that he would stand in the way of any individual  or consortium with the genuine intent and financial means to resurrect the fortunes of the ailing Birds.

And, indeed, Gauteng education Minister Panyaza Lesufi, a long-time Swallows supporter, has made it known that a group in which he is involved are already advanced in their negotiations to take over control of The Birds.

Although Prins, who claims to have sunk "a personal fortune" of his own into attempting to keep Swallows afloat, could still remain with the club in some capacity or another, the new owners might feel a complete break with the recent past would be advisable in view of the club's plummeting fortunes.

What remains to be seen is whether a new Swallows' administration attempts to find a short-cut to revive the club through the purchase of either a Premier Soccer League or NFD franchise - or attempt to restore the status of the club via the more conventional means of team-building and promotion.

Should the new administration decide on the former course, they would need to secure the consent of the PSL executive for the deal to be confirmed - recalling that the League's controlling body last year rejected to sanction the request of relegated Amazulu to buy their way back into the Premier League through the purchase of Black Aces' franchise.

Meanwhile, Swallows, in a statement released by director Sipho Xulu, have apologised to The Birds' supporters for the decline in the club that only four season's ago came within a whisker of winning the Premier Soccer League title - while expressing the view  they shared in the bitter disappointment of the players, fans and all others associated with The Birds over the unthinkable fall from grace .

Read more on:    moroka swallows  |  soccer
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