Witness Reporter
2 minute read
27 Aug 2021
06:29

Our viewpoint | PSL’s reputation

Witness Reporter

The country’s Premier Soccer League is celebrating 25 years of existence and its officials are right to savour this milestone, but simultaneously, there appears to be a downgrade of its reputation.

OPINION:


The country’s Premier Soccer League is celebrating 25 years of existence and its officials are right to savour this milestone, but simultaneously, there appears to be a downgrade of its reputation.

Launched in August 1996, the league was viewed as a significant jump in the development of a sport previously neglected by the apartheid system. Its caretakers would go on to boast the most organised and lucrative football product on the continent.

Launched in August 1996, the league was viewed as a significant jump in the development of a sport previously neglected by the apartheid system.

However, that fruitful exercise has been accompanied by frequent club ownership changes and some of them have been filled with controversy, which appears to have dimmed the PSL’s bright facade. The past two seasons, for example, have featured the deaths of two of the most established clubs, in the form of Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic, respectively. These famous names have disappeared in favour of new titles and not only have these clubs’ fans reportedly been let down badly, but the new owners have proved to be controversial subjects.

This resultant instability in the PSL has created the impression that some club owners treat football as a toy to be played with and they regard fans as mere consumers with no feelings to be considered during major developments.

The PSL’s head honchos ought to be wary of the reputational damage emerging from them apparently not doing enough to keep clubs stable and ensuring that the potential newcomers are suited to running a club from a financial and administrative standpoint, and will respect supporters as the lifeblood of the sport.

The PSL’s head honchos ought to be wary of the reputational damage emerging from them apparently not doing enough to keep clubs stable and ensuring that the potential newcomers are suited to running a club

It is possible that greater stability at the clubs might have avoided the latest development of the cash-strapped Msunduzi Municipality feeling obliged to fork out R27 million to keep Maritzburg United here for the next three years.

This is in addition to the council already being responsible for the upkeep of Harry Gwala Stadium and surrounds. If PSL clubs keep changing hands so regularly, and so controversially, it will bolster the notion that too many own goals are being scored on and off the field.

red witness logo
Write to letters@witness.co.za
The editor reserves the right to edit all contributions. All letters must contain the writer’s full name, address and contact number for record purposes or they will not be published. Well written topical letters under 225 words will take precedence. The Witness does not guarantee to publish all letters.