Absa Premiership

Tsichlas in shock Sundowns exit

2016-09-30 08:25
Angelo Tsichlas and Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former club co-owner Angelo Tsichlas is off high-flying Mamelodi Sundowns' backroom staff - but it would seem pertinent at this point in relation to the surprise move to point in the direction of the well-worn, but invariably logical and valid assessment that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Sundowns are currently riding on the crest of a wave as current Premier League champions, qualifiers for CAF's prestigious Champions League Final and due to face up to Bidvest Wits in Saturday's R8m MTN8 winner-take-all final at the Mbombela Stadium.

But 12 months ago it was an entirely different scenario in the Brazilians' camp, with a succession of dismal results precipitating an outcry from supporters and demands that coach Pitso Mosimane should be fired post-haste - and, threatening, ugly and hostile scenes erupting at a number of games.

It was more or less at this dire juncture that Tsichlas, one-time Sundowns co-owner with wife Natasha Tsichlas and late club president Abe Krok, was recruited to resume an active role in the Sundowns administration as a special adviser to present owner Patrice Motsepe and co-ordinating with the billionaire owner on the various technical and administrative segments that appeared divided and in disarray.

The rest is history, with Mosimane now hoisted onto a pedestal and proclaimed a hero of the Brazilians' turnaround.

It is debatable as to what extent the voluble Tsichlas was responsible for the transformation, but his knowledge of the club, as well as cementing cracks between various opposing factions was timely and helpful in the business-immersed Motsepe keeping his finger on the pulse of a club he owns with a relentless passion.

Tsichlas on Thursday suggested his task had been completed and he would be returning to manage the family business in Pretoria.

He denied he was "moving on" as far as Sundowns was concerned because of irritation bordering on jealousy and unhappiness among some of the other officials - specifically over the influence he enjoyed with Motsepe.

"My contract had expired," added Tsichlas, "and the problems have been sorted out. My affinity with the club has not diminished and I remain on good terms with Mr Motsepe."

So why not continue in the same vein with so much at stake before the end of the year - least of which would be qualification for the World Club Championship should Sundowns edge out Egypt's Zamalek for a first success in the Champions League Final?

And will there be any regrets and ramifications over "fixing” the situation - not only when everything is going right, but the challenge of aspiring to new heights is also looming.

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  psl  |  sy lerman  |  soccer

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