The Premier Soccer League is being sold to MultiChoice and they might as well move their offices from Parktown to Randburg once and for all!
Last week, Orlando Pirates and PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza hosted his first press conference of the year as promised here he gave an update on the controversial Compact Cup and responded to some questions about Kaizer Chiefs.
In the presser, “The Chairman” as many refer to the PSL boss, announced the league’s plans to have a post-retirement program for PSL footballers.
Guess who’s backing this new program? You guessed, MultiChoice, whom “The Chairman” thanked for “championing the project”.
No mention of the South African Football Players Union (Safpu), the official trade union that represents football players in South Africa. No mention of a collaboration with Safpu on this project.
Safpu has been trying to work with the PSL since it was launched. But they have been pushed away and the PSL has also failed to encourage players to be part of the union.
The PSL even controls the players’ insurances and policies and how these are paid out. Safpu has no say whatsoever on these.
Safpu isn’t perfect either, but they are also not really being given a fair chance to do something significant instead of just popping up whenever there is a contract issue.
To me, that’s a clear indication that the PSL has no intentions of doing things by the book and creating sustainable projects that will benefit SA football and the main stakeholders, the players.
The chairman as usual threw around some numbers, in this case, the “millions” that have been committed for this new retirement plan for PSL players.
It’s all a smokescreen really, throwing big money figures around to create headlines.
How can we continue to trust an organisation that cannot even employ an independent CEO, instead they have a club owner, who is also a PSL board member and based in Durban.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I get the feeling that some of these PSL bosses are preparing for their own future outside of the PSL.
Just last year, Khoza announced a new and refreshed Executive Committee of the league, which included some younger faces, who are supposed to take the league forward in the near future.
Part of the new crew are Cape Town City boss John Comitis, Stellenbosch CEO Robert Benadie and Chippa United owners Chippa Mpengesi.
We were supposed to be excited about the succession plan, but I didn’t trust that this leadership would just let go of the control of SA football’s biggest source of money.
Since the PSL sold its broadcast rights to SuperSport, they have been announcing partnerships with many other MultiChoice subsidiaries and products.
We now have the DSTv Premiership, DSTv Diski Challenge, DSTv Compact Cup, PSL and MultiChoice Player Transition Programme, we also have a football club called SuperSport United in the same league.
Very strange that all this is allowed without the PSL raising any issues about conflict of interest.
Why is SuperSport United still allowed to play in the Premiership, yet these same guys denied Moroka Swallows sponsorship from Telkom because it’s a conflict with their telecommunications partners MTN?
I felt it was just sour grapes because Telkom ended their relationship with the PSL a few months earlier and they wanted to shut the door on them remaining in PSL football!
When Cape Town City announced SportPesa as a sponsor, the PSL led by Khoza, tried to block it because it’s a clash with yet another MultiChoice company Soccer 6, which is the PSL’s betting partner.
Fortunately for City, Comitis is sharp and he was able to find some loopholes or he may be made sure to sweeten the deal and include some payouts to the leadership and keep them happy. They were eventually given the green light.
These ouens are not just planning to step down and “make way for younger” leaders. It’s all part of a strategic plan to remain in control.
I reckon after they step down, they will simply create new positions for themselves in Randburg where they will have influence over all the above mentioned PSL properties because they will all be sponsored by the Randburg company.
It all sounds like these guys and girls are making plans to make sure all of the key pillars of the PSL are funded and controlled in Randburg, where they are rumoured to be shareholders.
MultiChoice can and might simply create a new “Football Board” and place these very same old faces there and control all these PSL competitions and initiatives.
I might be wrong of course, but it’s not something that isn’t impossible in SA football.
The PSL is really creating a big gap between its leadership and the other stakeholders that make up this league.
The PSL bosses are controlling the game with remote control and they don’t want fans and players to get anywhere near their shady business dealings.