Disciplinary steps against Royal AM for failing to honour playoffs ‘settled’
Sale of club to TTM appears to have pre-empted the outcome as PSL stays mum
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) disciplinary committee hearing into the failing by Royal AM to honour four promotion-relegation playoffs has been settled, a legal representative for the Durban club said.
The date for the announcement of the outcome of the hearing, at which Royal was found guilty on all charges after heads of argument were heard on August 11, had been set for August 21.
No announcement or media release on the outcome has been issued by the PSL.
On Tuesday morning Eric Mabuza of Mabuza Attorneys, the firm representing Royal — who has since bought the premier division status of Bloemfontein Celtic, and played their first match in the top flight at the weekend — said the issue has been settled.
Asked who was favoured by the settlement, Mabuza said: “It was a good settlement. It’s a settlement where both sides are happy.”
PSL prosecutor Nande Becker could not be reached for comment or details about the settlement.
The settlement agreement will pass to the new owners of Royal, Lawrence Mulaudzi and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC, who have bought the Durban team’s franchise to compete in the National First Division (NFD).
Royal’s owner, Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, bought the top-flight franchise of Celtic from previous owner Max Tshabalala, and moved the team to Durban, renaming it Royal AM. They lost 1-0 to Swallows FC in their first premiership match at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.
The purchase of Celtic followed numerous court defeats to have Royal reinstated as NFD champions after an arbitration award that caused Sekhkhune United to win the second tier and Royal to be bumped from leaders to the playoffs.
The Durban club did not honour all four playoff matches, in which Chippa United preserved their premiership status.
Many were expecting that the disciplinary hearing, apart from awarding 3-0 wins to the opposition in those four matches, as per NSL handbook rules, might impose a stiff fine and even recommend that an expulsion of Royal come before the PSL’s board of governors.
However, the sale of Royal to TTM — approved with the Celtic sale by the PSL’s executive committee on August 13 — appears to have pre-empted and influenced the disciplinary hearing’s outcome.
Royal communications manager Sthembiso Hlongwane and advocate Dali Mpofu, who also represented Royal at the disciplinary hearing, could not be reached for comment or clarification on the details of the settlement.