Former Dynamos FC owner Pat Malabela has revealed how he got into club ownership. He says he was on holiday in the United Kingdom in the early 2000’s when he came upon a story in one of the newspapers about a young man who had just bought a certain percentage of Tottenham Hotspur, and it changed his life.
“It’s a long story, but to cut it short… I was set to travel to the UK on vacation. Before I left, Dynamos were owned by the late Peter Rabale and were languishing in the bottom half of the league standings, they were about to be relegated,” said Malabela in an interview with Energy FM this week.
“When I got to the UK, on a Sunday I read in a local newspaper that a young man had bought shares at Tottenham Hotspur.
“I was there with my girlfriend, who is now my wife, I turned to her and said, ‘you know what, when I go back home, I want to do something like this too’.
“When I got back, Dynamos had survived relegation. I then started looking for Mr Rabale, and when I found him I bought Dynamos.
“I paid R600 000 for the club. But the club had only three players on their books when I bought it,” he explained.
“We had to build it from scratch, we got some credible players and within a season Dynamos were in the Premiership.”
But a few years later, Dynamos had disappeared into the doldrums having been relegated from the professional ranks. This was after a bitter battle about the club’s ownership had ensued.
“That’s a long and painful story because if it had not happened today we’d be talking about a very big brand in the country,” said Malabela.
“What happened is that when I bought the club there was a group of businessmen who wanted to work with me but the deal fell through because some things didn’t go the way we wished.
“But there was some clause – that even today I am not allowed to speak about because we signed an agreement that I would never talk about it, and if I do they’d sue me.”
He said he’d still want to come back to football at some point but could not say if he would bring back Dynamos.