Pressing Issues: PSL club chairmen rubbing their hands in glee

2012-09-22 19:57

The bun fight between the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the National First Division (NFD) could have serious ramifications for South African football.

While the NFD clubs have a serious and genuine case, they might end up being the biggest losers.

Their fight for better conditions, such as prize money and monthly grants, is quite legitimate.

It is a crying shame that the PSL, after elevating itself to one of the top 10 financially viable leagues in the world, can see nothing wrong with giving each Premiership club a whopping R1.5 million monthly grant while expecting the clubs in the tier just below them to survive on a measly R250 000 per month.

It is also sad that the club that wins the NFD title overall is only compensated with a paltry R300 000.

All this is happening while the PSL is flashing its money all over the show.

NFD clubs have the right to cry foul when the PSL decided to reward their own clubs with a cheque for R1.5 million for finishing on top of the Absa Premiership in each quarter.

It is even worse when the PSL decides to reward a journalist who correctly predicts the scores and the winner of the first quarter of the season with R500 000. This is more than First Division winners get.

Why?

The amount is even bigger than the PSL top goal scorer gets, as well as the player of the season.

But what makes one feel disturbed is the disdain with which some PSL club chairmen have treated this whole NFD matter.

One can’t help but feel they’ve been waiting for this opportunity: for NFD clubs to seek the freedom of being a stand-alone league for some time.

As things stand, there has been no decision on the relegation and promotion format.

And therein lies the rub.

Methinks PSL club chairmen are rubbing their hands in glee at the opportunity to seize the moment and implement an idea mooted some time ago: that of turning the PSL into a franchise running along the same lines as the Major League Soccer in the USA.

There, all clubs are franchises, there is no promotion or relegation and all clubs own their stadiums as they are permanent business ventures.

If this happened, the NFD clubs would be the biggest losers and it would have serious implications for South African soccer, as many Vodacom League and SAB League clubs – the third- and fourth-tier leagues – would close shop.

Why would they continue when they have no chance in hell of making it into the elite league one day?

And what would happen to the thousands of young players in these leagues nursing hopes of making it to the PSL one day.
 
They would be shattered.


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