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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Middendorp reveals how Bobby Motaung fired him at Chiefs

'At clubs of this magnitude, there are always opinions. Opinions from the chairman, management, directors,' says Middendorp

Ernst Middendorp was fired in a short meeting with Bobby Motaung at the Kaizer Chiefs village in Naturena at the end of the 2019/20 season. 

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This was after his team had collapsed on the last day of the DStv Premiership action and surrendered the title to Mamelodi Sundowns. 

Chiefs had gone into the last day needing a win against Baroka to finish top. And things looked to be going Middendorp’s way. 

Amakhosi scored first and led for a while. But a late equaliser by Baroka meant Chiefs finished second. 

To be fair to Middendorp, his team was hugely disturbed by the outbreak of Covid-19 which meant the league was paused for three months. 

When the games resumed, he had also lost George Maluleka whose contract had run out. Maluleka was a key player in Middendorp’s team. 

Middendorp has opened up for the first time about how he was fired on Robert Marawa’s Marawa Sports Worldwide this week.

“At clubs of this magnitude, there are always opinions. Opinions from the chairman, management, directors,” said Middendorp.

“And of course the technical team in the end, guided by the head coach. But let me make it clear that  there was no interference,” 

‘That is it, thank you coach’

“I was released when I was in a position to qualify for the CAF Champions League. It was just a disaster (losing the title) at the time. 

“The final talk from the management was presented to the team in my presence,” he said, explaining his last days at Naturena. 

“Everyone went on holiday and I went to Bobby Motaung’s office. That is where he told me, ‘Coach that’s it. 

“Thank you for your work and now you can go home. We will sort it out on the contract side’. It was simply an easy procedure,” added the former Maritaburg coach. 

Chiefs hired Gavin Hunt after Middendorp exit but he was also fired within eight months. 

Middendorp is now coach at Swallows FC where he has his work cut out as he has to steer the team away from the relegation zone. 

In 19 games, Swallows have collected just 21 points and are 14th in the 16 teams log. 

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Middendorp will hope for three points when they meet Cape Town City away on Sunday afternoon.