Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Jonty Mark
Football Editor
1 minute read
15 Jun 2020
1:18 pm

Former Wits coach De Sa – It’s a sad story

Jonty Mark

Roger De Sa has bemoaned the “terrible” demise of Bidvest Wits, with the club having sold it's Premier Soccer League status to Limpopo businessman Lawrence “Masala” Mulaudzi.

Roger De Sa. Pic: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mulaudzi is set to move the franchise to the Limpopo province, and rename it Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila F.C, the name of the team he owned in the GladAfrica Championship.

“It’s a sad story, a club with so much history, (that was) turning 100 next year. It’s terrible, but it is what it is, unfortunately in the franchise system anyone is allowed to buy or sell if they meet certain criteria,” said the former Wits head coach, who took charge of the Clever Boys between 2001 and 2005, and from 2007-2012.

“It’s just sad … this is a club that produced so many players, not so many recently, because of the financial backing they had. But in the past, when they had to (produce players) my word, they did, they have been one of the oldest and most consistent teams in the country.”

De Sa believes it is the club’s change in model from a business that used to produce a lot of academy talent, to a club paying huge wages to top names in the local game, that has contributed to their downfall.

“I remember when I left we had an argument, they wanted to go into big money (signings) and I always said it is not sustainable and eventually it catches up with you. When I left (in 2012) I could see Jose (Ferreira, former Wits CEO) was not interested in the academy. I respected his honesty, he wanted money to buy players, and that is what they did. But when you are pulling in R60 to R70 million a year (in sponsorship) over five or six years, it takes its toll, shareholders will always complain.”

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