Absa Premiership

CT City boss Comitis fears financial impact of coronavirus on club

2020-04-27 07:19
John Comitis
John Comitis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town City owner John Comitis has confirmed that due to the coronavirus pandemic and the current national lockdown in South Africa, some sponsors have not paid the club.

EXCLUSIVE | CT City boss Comitis: A man with a plan for a new stadium

The lockdown has brought a stop to all sporting codes in the country in the hopes of helping curb the deadly virus that has amassed over 2.8 million cases worldwide.

City, currently 10th on the Absa Premiership log standings, have only played 23 (of 30) games – 6 wins, 9 draws, 8 defeats – and are hoping to break into the top half the table before the end of the campaign.

However, with the current situation, discussions continue between the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the South African Football Association (SAFA) and various other entities to make a call on the 2019/20 season.

In an exclusive interview with Sport24, Comitis said that he is aware of the financial difficulties ahead for his club due to the coronavirus.

"It is extremely difficult what is going to happen over the next three months. By all accounts, we all want to complete the season, but we have to be mindful of our staff, players and obviously our fans," said Comitis.

"I don’t for one minute expect to return to full football with fans but, certainly, I'd like to see some progress seeing us playing again.

"You see the rest of the world is already pushing the motion of returning to some kind of balance of still being able to work and get some industries up and running again. I certainly think football should be one of them."

Comitis has revealed that some sponsors have not paid the club due to the financial damage the coronavirus has caused the economy.

He has also promised that his staff and players will be paid their full salaries at the end of April while discussions continue whether pay cuts will take effect for the months to come.

"I'm sitting now as an owner of a club and if the revenues don't come in, what do I do? What do I say to the 60 families (staff and players)? 60 families are depending on this club," Comitis continued.

"I own some other businesses, so perhaps 150 families in total that I have direct involvement with. So, we have a responsibility to these people and how do you just say, 'sorry I can't pay you?'

Comitis added: "For me, it is about getting the game underway and having the television cameras capturing the game because that is our main source of revenue and sponsorships will still get their pound of flesh in terms of value.

"Once sponsors decide that this is not working for them, then we’re in serious trouble and whilst we may have contracts or not, at the end of the day you can only squeeze so much out of a lemon."


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