Absa Premiership

How the 'Iron Duke' rules over Orlando Pirates

2019-01-29 12:52
Irvin Khoza (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza says he continues to play a hugely influential role in managing the club behind the scenes.

When asked by a journalist why it appears he does not attend Pirates matches, Khoza said he was present at every game though he sometimes keeps a low profile.

The 71-year-old then gave an extended answer to his role as chairperson of the Absa Premiership as well as the Sea Robbers.

"I'm always there at Pirates games," Khoza told KickOff. "Unfortunately you don't see me, it's a fact! You don't see me because unfortunately some people don't understand that when you are there, you are giving quality control.

"That quality control helps you see the mistakes and shortcomings, challenges and the improvements you need to make, so you need to have your space.

"This is entertainment. If the entertainment is not exciting, people will take their money elsewhere and then you don't have a show. That's why it's very important to understand that.

"So it's important that I'm at games as I'm the chairman of the league...but you have never seen me handing out medals, that's not my job. My job is strategic involvement, doing strategic things to improve the league, sharing ideas with the clubs and mitigating problems.

"As management, some players come with problems, maybe he was drunk, or did not attend training, but he's a favourite with supporters, and the coach says he has to have him in the team.

"And you know the challenges, you've done your best, but you are not happy because of your principles, saying he can't play. But then supporters will say, 'What are you doing with the team?' But they don't understand that this big player has let the team down, but we can't say that as we are protecting the player and trying to make him understand that he is a role model.

"It's very important that you take the public seriously and treat them with respect. You have to forget about your status which you feel gives you the right to do anything you like, people are spending their hard-earned money to support me."


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