Empty stands as Celtic fans stage a stay-away

2010-12-12 15:38

A behind-the-scenes row involving Bloemfontein Celtic and its ­defunct supporters’ national ­executive committee is the reason attendance has dwindled at their home ­matches recently.

The club has accused the ­disbanded structure of being the problem behind the fans’ boycott.
An estimated 3?000 fans ­witnessed Celtic’s 1-0 league win over Santos at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium two weeks ago.

The club said the committee had become “unreasonable in their ­demands” and that had prompted the Free State powerhouse to close it down.

“We disbanded the committee about two months ago and they speak on behalf of a few thousand of our fans,” said Celtic communications manager Petros Augousti.

“The NEC made unreasonable demands. They wanted to be an ­independent body and also ­demanded to be part of the ­decision-making on matters like the appointment of coaches and even team selection.”

In its response, national supporters’ chairperson Konstable ­Selebedi, who “resigned” from the committee on November 14, has counter-accused the club of “dividing the fans”.

“We are today divided and categorised around personalities – some are called Konstable people and others are calling themselves owner Jimmy Augousti’s people,” ­Selebedi wrote in his resignation speech.

He also gave an account of some of the events that led to the ­tension between the two warring parties.

“On August 15 we had our first supporters’ public meeting, where we met with Jimmy and Ikie Augousti to deal with all matters concerning the club.

“To our surprise, Jimmy ­informed the supporters that he did not recognise us on the basis that we wanted to be independent; it is not something coming from us as the committee.”

Selebedi added: “The supporters’ administrator was served with a letter from Celtic’s lawyers ­instructing us to close shop and ­vacate the club’s offices.”

Celtic have cautioned that they are not going to be threatened by their fans’ stay-away.
“Celtic supporters are our most important commodity and we ­intend to resolve the issues. We are not going to be threatened by the current scenario.

“At the moment the club is trying to come up with a new model that will be more ­under control,” said Augousti.

Ironically, the club were unbeaten in their past three matches at home despite the fans’ stay-away and they ended November with 10 points from five matches.

“Siwelele” will face Vasco da Gama in their next home fixture on ­December 19.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.