Absa Premiership

The downside to Cape Town City's success story

2017-03-06 13:03
Cape Town City FC (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - It is an instant success story beyond almost any prediction or expectation for the revived Cape Town City soccer team since it purchased the Premier League franchise from Black Aces before the start of the current PSL season.

Telkom Cup winners against all the odds, including a comprehensive 3-0 final victory against CAF Champions League and PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns, started the ball of success rolling for City and more lately heading the Premier League log took the trend a step further - even though topping the log on a permanent basis might not be viable in view of the fact that other challengers for the top spot have matches in hand.

But there is a downside to City owner John Comitis and his football clans' euphoria following on the purchase of soccer glory.

It is that created in its wake is a soccer ghost city that has emerged in the Mpumalanga area where Aces were traditionally an enthusiastically supported and successful football club until the owners were tempted into pulling the plug of continuity by a fee widely touted to be in the vicinity of R50m.

Despite local officials attempting to keep soccer well and alive in the Mpumalanga area by tempting "foreign" clubs to sporadically play some of their home matches at the imposing Mbombela Stadium - not that successfully it must be added - and SAFA lending a hand by delegating some of Bafana Bafana's home matches there, the spectre of a ghost syndrome lingers on.

"It's simply not the same when you don't have your own team to support and follow," said one of the multitude of disillusioned fans. "It's like a death in the family - and you do not know the cause and wonder whether the tragedy was really necessary."

This, of course, poses the question as to whether the PSL administration should sanction the moving of a club to a distant area when ownership changes following a sale.

The PSL, of course, thwarted AmaZulu doing the very same thing a mere 12 months before Comitis pulled off his Cape Town coup - but, it seemed, the ruling professional soccer organisation was prepared to allow Moroka Swallows to buy the Free State Stars franchise in the Premier League before the start of the current season had the fallen Birds not botched the deal through what had become ongoing, chaotic management by the once-famed, but now all but extinct Dube-based club.

So while praise is ringing out loud and clear for what Comitis and coach Eric Tinkler have achieved, the rattle of a skeleton in the PSL cupboard is sounding at the same time.

And suggestions are that expediency, financial considerations and nepotism in soccer administration continues to hold sway at times over traditional sporting principles.

Read more on:    cape town city  |  john comitis  |  sy lerman  |  soccer


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Tuesday, 17 December 2019
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