Business as usual for Free State Stars

2016-07-27 06:00

BETHLEHEM. – The Free State Stars Football Club has confirmed that the sale of the club’s franchise to a consortium led by the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, has fallen through.

The deal has been unsuccessful as the consortium had failed to meet some of the conditions of sale set by the National Soccer League, more particularly that relating to the payment of the selling price.

As a result, the Free State Stars Football Club is back in business and in full preparation for the 2016 –’17 season.

Free State Stars Football Club chairman, Mike Mokoena, stated as follows: “The Free State Football Club had been approached by Panyaza Lesufi who offered to buy our club’s football franchise on behalf of his consortium. We went as far as signing the sale agreement which was subject to certain conditions which unfortunately could not be met by Lesufi or his consortium.

“When the offer was presented to us, it became a very hard decision to make as football has been part of our lives for many years.

“However, due to financial constraints we were left with no choice but to accept Lesufi’s offer.

“Our situation had been made worse by the loss of our main sponsor, Bonitas, which left a huge hole in our club’s finances.

“We found ourselves in a situation where we had to inject in excess of
R12 million in order to keep the club afloat. We were quick to realise that the situation was unsustainable and that we were running the risk of either being relegated or running the club into bankruptcy.

“We had to be unselfish and do what was right for the entire club.

“Now that we find ourselves in this situation, we have no choice but to soldier on and hopefully turn things around in good time.

“Fortunately, our pre-season preparations were not affected by the sale situation other than the transfer of a few of our players to other clubs.

“This is quite familiar to us as we had been in situations before where we had to sell some of our best players every season in order to keep our club in business.

“Our playing squad is in good shape and we have also managed to secure the services of Coach Denis Lavagne who has an outstanding track record.

“We will be announcing his new assistant coach and a list of our new signings for the upcoming season very soon.

“We take this opportunity to thank the PSL for affording us the opportunity to consider Lesufi’s offer.

“We also thank our players and supporters for their understanding during this short but challenging period.

“As a collective, we owe it to ourselves to stay in the league and improve our financial situation as we intend to remain in top level football for many more years.”

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