PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
Stuart Baxter out of the loop as Chiefs continue search
The chance of Stuart Baxter returning to Kaizer Chiefs appears to be diminishing, with his contract as Bafana Bafana coach proving to be a huge stumbling block.
Asked if Chiefs had spoken to Baxter or tried to lure him back to Naturena‚ Amakhosi’s football manager, Bobby Motaung, was evasive and would not issue a complete denial.
It is understood the Baxter option was on the cards but given that his contract with the South African Football Association (Safa) runs until 2022‚ negotiating past this obstacle was considerably complicated.
Motaung would not "respond to sources and rumours".
Did Chiefs ever speak to Baxter‚ and was there ever a possibility there?
"We’ve said in the past that we’ve interviewed people. And if we would have to unveil names of people it would be a violation of people’s rights‚" Motaung said.
"I’ll only announce names of people I have signed. I can’t contradict myself and say that‚ ‘We wanted this one’.
"We have talked to a lot of people so we can’t even mention their names."
No outright denial
Put to Motaung that his response did not include an outright denial‚ he said: "I’m not commenting on anything. I don’t want to put anybody in trouble.
"I’m saying‚ whoever I have spoken to‚ unless those people comment about it‚ then okay‚ I can say‚ ‘Maybe we engaged’."
As Chiefs’ search drags on‚ it has been speculated the club’s management did not move quickly enough after Steve Komphela’s departure and perhaps even waited until last season ended to begin canvassing in earnest for a new coach.
As Amakhosi enter the third week of preseason under caretaker Patrick Mabedi‚ public reaction has been that it does not reflect well on a big club such as Kaizer Chiefs.
Getting a coach was a process, Motaung said, "and we’re not under pressure as Chiefs to make hasty decisions.
"We have to make a call for a person who we feel is going to do a job for us. We are dealing with things procedurally.
"Chiefs have not had three months [to search for a coach]. Chiefs has had 48 years to be run. It still has another 48 years to go."
Motaung appealed for patience from Chiefs’ success-starved fans‚ saying that even when the new man was appointed‚ Amakhosi might not necessarily become a winning team again overnight.
"It’s a plea that we’re making‚ once more‚ that we are running an organisation that has got the concerns of people‚ of the players‚ the fans and of the ambitions that we have in the organisation‚" he said.
"We are dealing with the matter. We are not on holiday — I didn’t even go to Russia for the World Cup.
"We want to win trophies. But the coaches we have approached have not been available. So we have had to start up again and search.
"We will definitely get the right man for the job. And when we appoint that person‚ still people need to have some patience for people to adapt and work with the club.
"It’s not going to be a person who we bring in and is going to produce magic."