NFD threatens to shut down PSL

2012-09-15 20:17

Club official vows ‘havoc’ will ensue unless issues are resolved

The multibillion-rand Premier Soccer League (PSL) is facing its biggest revolt since its formation in 1996.

National First Division (NFD) clubs have threatened to bring PSL fixtures to a complete standstill after accusing members of the elite league of reneging on agreements reached at a special annual general meeting on
August 28.

The 16 chairpersons of the PSL clubs and the equal number of NFD club chairpersons belong to a structure called the National Soccer League (NSL).

At the meeting, it was agreed the NFD would be a stand-alone league running its own affairs.

It was also agreed a sum of R115 million, contained in the NSL’s Solidarity Fund, would be given to NFD clubs to run their own league.

Following the meeting, the PSL issued a fixture list for the NFD’s kickoff this weekend after the kickoff date had been postponed indefinitely.

However, this week, clubs vowed they will not honour these fixtures until the details contained in a “doctored” PSL statement were rectified.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an NFD club official said: “The PSL went on to announce things that were not agreed upon. The issue of grants and prize monies were a total misrepresentation.”

He alleged it was never agreed the R1-million first prize for the NFD winners was to be paid from the R115 million, but was to come from the PSL coffers.

The league’s statement said there would also be a R250 000 prize for quarterly winners, also to come from the Solidarity Fund.

This is in line with the Q-Innovation announced by the PSL two months ago in which PSL quarterly winners win R1.5 million and a journalist who correctly predicts the leader at the quarterly stage will pocket R500 000.

Another agreement not disputed at this stage was the increase of NFD clubs’ monthly grants from R250 000 to R300 000.

PSL clubs get R1.5 million per month.

“We will cause havoc if they don’t rectify the current issues. They must be aware the Premiership cannot go ahead if there is no clear promotion and relegation policy. The current situation means there will be no relegation and promotion.

“How much will be left if we use this once-off payment (from the Solidarity Fund) for prize monies? The agreement was the money will be used to run the office and the prize money and grants will come from the PSL,” added the source.

The NFD has been running with no sponsorship since 2007 when Mvelaphanda pulled out.

PSL’s head of communications Connie Motshumi insisted that NFD league fixtures would kick off this weekend as planned.

“We sent out fixtures and as far as we are concerned nothing has changed,” she insisted.

But none of the games scheduled for yesterday kicked off.

The NSL also formed a six-member committee made up of Kaizer Motaung (Kaizer Chiefs), John Comitis (Ajax Cape Town), Mato Madlala (Golden Arrows), Jabu Khumalo (African Warriors), Pierre Delvaux (Thanda Royal Zulu) and Pat Malabela (Dynamos). Motaung, the PSL’s finance committee chairperson, is the convenor.

Last month, the NSL granted the NFD clubs their wish to become a stand-alone structure.

The development means the NFD has also obtained control over commercial and marketing activities that directly affect it, such as the power to obtain sponsorship and television coverage for the league.

Dynamos owner Malabela said: “There are still outstanding issues between the NFD and PSL and the league would not kick off.”

He refused to elaborate.

“The matter has to be discussed first, then the PSL will issue a statement. I can’t confirm issues that were discussed in the meeting,” added Malabela.

Meanwhile, Malabela announced his team has regained its NFD status, after Bay United were found guilty by the SA Football Association appeal board for using improperly registered players.

United were docked five points after it was established the players in question were fielded in a number of league matches.

Dynamos finished the year in second-last place.

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