Fifa loot – tips for Safa

2010-12-19 11:20

The R560 million generated from hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup has put the South African Football Association (Safa) in the pound seats.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter played Father Christmas earlier this week when he announced that the money would form the foundation of the World Cup Legacy Trust, a vehicle to drive ­football development.

Safa has never been in a better ­position.

Here is how City Press believes the money should be utilised and what money-saving changes need to be implemented by the country’s football governing body to catapult South ­Africa into becoming one of the top football powerhouses in the world:

MANPOWER

Safa must employ a chief executive officer with immediate effect, but move away from its recent ­tendency to appoint lawyers to the position.

They need a highly qualified CEO with business acumen – forget the nonsense that they need somebody with “a football culture”.

If this was such an important ingredient there would be more former players owning professional clubs than just Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono, given the galaxy of stars SA has produced.

It is a sign of ineptitude that Lesley Sedibe’s contract expires on January 6 but Safa has not yet appointed a chief executive.
Its offices closed on December 10, so nobody will be in the crucial position when they re-open on January 10.

In the search, Safa should not look too far away from the elite list of top South African CEOs which includes names such as Bidvest Group’s Brian Joffe, Phuthuma Nhleko, Sizwe ­Nxasana and some of the youngest persons holding such a position, ie 29-year-old Yolanda Cuba.

The CEO Safa appoints must be able to hold his own in the company of the likes of Danny ­Jordaan, Naspers MD Koos Bekker and Edward Nathan Sonnenberg’s Dr Michael Katz, who all played a role in the success of the SA 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC).

The incumbent must sit comfortably on the board of the World Cup Legacy Trust, which will be structured on similar lines to the LOC.

The new CEO must beef up the marketing and communications departments by employing suitably qualified people to head them.

Safa must appoint a full-time administrator for each of the 52 regions and they must report to head office once a month.

It must bring in an experienced technical adviser to toughen up the malfunctioning technical department headed by Serame Letsoaka.

DEVELOPMENT

Safa has for years paid only lip service to development, with dire consequences, and this must change with the current windfall.

First step: Employ a full-time, suitably qualified development officer to take charge of all development programmes in all 52 regions.

The suitable person must report frequently to the technical and emergency committees and attend national executive committee meetings to provide updates.

The organisation must build its own fully fledged high-performance centre with living quarters, training fields, a modern fully equipped gym and swimming pool, along the lines of what was recommended by former senior national coach Carlos Parreira.

All regions must have junior competitions – for boys and girls – at all levels, where winners eventually participate in a national age group ­competition run by Safa.

Safa must join hands with the ­Premier Soccer League to start a reserve league that will be restricted to players under the age of 19.

PROPERTY
The vast space at Safa House, built at a cost of R60 million and left by Fifa as part of the World Cup legacy, must be utilised commercially.

Some of it must be rented out to generate income which will bring in at least a portion of the R8.1 million paid by the LOC, which rented the ­entire building, as reported in the ­latest annual financial report.

Safa must get rid of the house at 43 Melville Road, Sandton, for which it is paying off a bond at R75 208 a month.

FINANCES

The new CEO must increase or even double the income from sponsorships, which currently stands at R258.2 million.

The organisation must rid itself of all the dead wood to at least cut down the staff salary bill, which jumped by 29.04% from R64.5 million to R83.1 million over the past year.

The CEO must turn around the R24.4-million loss ­recorded in the latest financial.

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