PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE STATUS
Ruling expected on sale of Thanda Royal Zulu
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is on Thursday expected to rule on several contentious issues including the R42m deal that will allow AmaZulu to return to the top flight.
AmaZulu‚ relegated from the PSL two seasons ago‚ has bought the franchise of National First Division champions Thanda Royal Zulu and are set to play in the premiership next season instead of the Richards Bay-based team.
The deal has been in the works for months, but needs to be approved by the PSL’s executive committee‚ which will decide the matter on Thursday.
Also to be discussed is the sale of FC Cape Town and a proposed move for Milano United to Johannesburg as it is subject to a R11m bid.
The AmaZulu takeover of Thanda’s status has been confirmed for weeks by club officials, with Thanda’s owners saying they are unable to keep up with the costs of running the club. But there are many detractors to AmaZulu buying PSL status‚ not least the municipality of uMhlathuze‚ which released a statement in May, rejecting the proposed sale.
"The City of uMhlathuze strongly condemns the alleged move by Thanda Royal Zulu’s chairman to sell the club to AmaZulu. "The city urges the PSL board not to approve this deal as it is a daylight robbery for soccer fans in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal.
"The city is disappointed at the recent media reports citing the negotiations between AmaZulu FC and Thanda chairman Pierre Delvaux‚ to sell his club’s premiership status without the consideration of the supporters’ hearts.
"The City of uMhlathuze has‚ for years‚ invested millions of rand in the club as main sponsors, with the intention of seeing the club developing to the top league. City people and soccer lovers invested their hearts when the club was struggling and supported it with all they had until the glory days.
"Taxpayers’ money was also invested in improving the stadium to accommodate the club’s success and just recently‚ R14m worth of Fifa-accredited stadium lights were installed and more improvements in the facility worth millions of rand are under way‚ which will go down the drain‚" the municipality said.
FC Cape Town is being sold for R9m to the Ubuntu Football Trust‚ which started out as an academy for boys in the Cape and has placed some of its graduates on college scholarships in the US. It is run by Zimbabwe-born Michael Jenkins and American Casey Prince.
Milano United‚ who struggled to stay up in National First Division last season‚ has been up for sale since March, with an original price tag of R50m that has come down to R11m because there were no takers.
Sources said a Midrand-based entrepreneur had made an approach and was in discussions with the club.