Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Do Kaizer Chiefs actually want to get better?

This Amakhosi apocalypse is not good for South African football.

When we spoke to Kaizer Motaung Jnr only a month and a half ago, the Kaizer Chiefs sporting director laughed off suggestions that Amakhosi were in danger of not making it into next season’s MTN8.

Well the joke, unfortunately for Motaung Jnr, is now firmly on Chiefs, as they finished the season 10th in the DStv Premiership table, following a 2-0 humiliation at the hands of Cape Town Spurs on Saturday.

Chiefs had been threatening to fall out of the top eight for some time, only staying there because the sides below them were also not winning enough matches. But Polokwane City eventually picked up the baton and sprinted past Amakhosi, the Limpopo side grabbing the final place in next season’s opening knockout competition.

Arrows’ KZN derby win over AmaZulu took them past Chiefs too, meaning the best-supported side in the country have fallen to their lowest ever top flight finish in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era.

This is, of course, just another season of pain for long-suffering Amakhosi fans. Their side have gone nine consecutive seasons without lifting a single piece of PSL silverware.

Banter aside, this Amakhosi apocalypse is not good for South African football.

A healthy PSL needs a healthy Chiefs, a side with the most fans in the country, by some distance. Sponsors of all the PSL’s competitions, while attempting to remain neutral, would be forgiven for praying for a Chiefs-Pirates Soweto derby in every cup final, and for a title race that also involves the Buccaneers and Amakhosi.

In the league Mamelodi Sundowns have become such a dominant force that it is difficult to see when anyone else will win the DStv Premiership again.

But Chiefs and Pirates should really be providing more competition to Masandawana than they are at the moment. Pirates are at least winning their share of cup competitions, and for a second season in a row have been the closest side to Sundowns, though they rather stumbled into second spot this time around.

Nowhere Land

Chiefs are in nowhere land, with head coach after head coach seemingly unable to stop the rot. The question for Chiefs management and specifically the Motaung family has to be how much they want to get better.

They are the most successful side off the field, and the sponsors’ money will no doubt continue to pour in. But at this point it is becoming fair to say they are far more of a superb marketing exercise than a superb football team.

So Kaizer Chiefs, do you actually care about getting better? Because you are not showing anyone that you do.