PSL may curb big squads

2010-09-05 12:11

The days of the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL’s) big three – Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns – spending millions on players ­only for some of them to be wasted on the bench could soon be over.

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza has revealed that the league is considering limiting the number of players per squad, thus following the example set by the English Premiership, where clubs are now only allowed to have 25 players.

South Africa’s “big three” clubs had very big squads of over 30 players when the transfer window closed on Tuesday.

Pirates’ biggest spend was R4.5 million on Daine Klate, while Chiefs’ most expensive new arrival was Sthembiso ­Ngcobo (R2.5 million).

Serial big spenders Sundowns had only Thapelo Tshilo’s R2.5-million signature as the most costly.

The Zimbabwean pair of Method Mwanjale and Nyasha Mushekwi were bought for R1.6 million and R1.25 million respectively.

Sundowns and Pirates splashed out more than R5 million, while Chiefs spent only R2.5 million. Chiefs now have an unhealthy total of 41 players.

Pirates trimmed their squad to 35, while Sundowns have 30.

Khoza disclosed that although the number of players per club has not been decided on, the matter will be discussed by the board of governors, and whatever number it agrees on will ­include the mandatory five youngsters per team.

Four-times league winning coach Ted Dumitru believes that although the move to curtail squads will be beneficial, it could still be detrimental.

“We are missing out big time because of the fact that we don’t have a reserve league, which is supposed to be the generator of talent. If you look at Barcelona, for instance, their entire team comes from the reserve league, including their coach, Pep ­Guardiola,” Dumitru said.

SuperSport United’s Gavin Hunt, who won the league title three times in succession and whose team has 29 players, said 25 players per team was the ­perfect number.

“The biggest anomaly in our football is that clubs spend a lot of money buying players, but if they do not play they lose form and there is nothing to keep them busy in a competitive environment,” Dumitru opined.

“How many young players disappear from football because they are not given opportunities to play? This is the reason we have one of the oldest leagues in the world,” he said.

Should the league decide to adopt the limit of 25 players, other clubs that would be affected are ­AmaZulu (31 players), Bidvest Wits (29), Free State Stars (29), Santos (29) and Platinum Stars (28).

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