Drop beckons for Cosmos

2010-02-13 00:00

HE is listed as the chairman of 14 companies and a sharehol­der or director of four others.

But what the legendary Jomo Sono probably prizes and treasures most appears on the verge of slipping from his grasp again.

Jomo Cosmos, the club Sono named in his own image, are hovering on the verge of relegation from the Premier League for the second time in three years, after going down to Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.

Should it materialise, it would be a crushing blow for an iconic South African figure whose life, firstly as a player and then as a coach and administrator, revolves mainly around soccer, in spite of his many other varied commitments and undertakings with companies like Exel Petroleum, Midas Motor Distributors and the South African Diamond Exchange.

“It will never happen again,” said the man who was labelled The Black Prince in his heyday as a player, after Cosmos had spent a season in the subsidiary First Division and regained their Premier League status at the start of the current season.

It has proved a hollow and unsubstantiated boast thus far, with Cosmos firmly entrenched in bottom place in the PSL log and a mere three fixtures remaining to avoid what is a mandatory drop to the lower First Division again, if there is no improvement in the position of Sono’s club.

And even if Cosmos somehow manage to edge above Black Aces — the best they can hope for in the final summing up — this would still mean a tense, tortuous play-off with three top First Division clubs for one position in next season’s Premier League.

Aces, at this late juncture, are three points better-off than Cosmos, with what could be a decisively superior goal diffe­rence as well.

But what makes Cosmos’ task even more stark and formidable is the fact that Aces’ remaining programme is also marginally easier than that of their fellow relegation candidates, with two of three remaining games at home as against one for Sono’s team.

Cosmos play Ajax Cape Town in Cape Town on Tuesday; they are at home to championship contenders Mamelodi Sundowns at the Rand Stadium next Saturday, when they can expect no mercy, and round off their programme in an away game against Moroka Swallows on Saturday, March 6, when the Premier League programme is completed.

Aces’ remaining games are against Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus next Wednesday; at home to Bloemfontein Celtic in Witbank next Saturday and a final, possibly fateful encounter against Ajax Cape Town in Cape Town on Saturday, March 6.

During this period Cosmos will

need to make up three points of lost ground on Aces and improve their goal difference tally in comparison with that of their rivals for survival.

And if this is not achieved, it will be back for what could be an even more critical tenure in the First Division, and the chairmanship of a Premier League club summarily removed from Sono’s curriculum vitae — with the viewpoint expressed that the chairman of 14 companies might have been better off by lessening the burden on himself brought about by trying to fulfil the job of Cosmos’ coach at the same time.

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