Harry Gwala to host all the big stars

2013-06-07 00:00

THE likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns will all visit Harry Gwala Stadium in the 2013/14 PSL season after Maritzburg United confirmed yesterday that they will not be moving any of their home matches to Port Elizabeth for the upcoming PSL campaign.

The Team of Choice has moved three home matches to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for each of the last two seasons in a deal that saw the club pocket more than R4 million, but club chairperson Farouk Kadodia has answered the calls of fans this time around.

“The PE deal helped us over that period to keep the club’s finances running,” he told The Witness.

“The fans have been deprived of seeing the big teams play regularly and we are delighted to inform them that all matches will take place at Harry Gwala this coming season.”

The new league season is set to get underway in the first week of August, though fixtures have not been finalised at this stage.

One of the major issues in United hosting the likes of Chiefs and Pirates at a stadium that reaches capacity at just over 10 000 is security.

In October last year United played to a 1-1 draw against Chiefs, after which the PSL was made aware of safety issues on the night that ignited concerns of the exterior to Harry Gwala and how poorly lit it was.

“We have already been in meetings with council asking them to fast track developments to the stadium so that we do not have such problems again,” said Kadodia.

While United have once again confirmed Carter High School as their training venue for the upcoming season, Kadodia is also appealing to the council to improve facilities at Harry Gwala stadium, largely so that the club can conduct off-field exercises in the offices of their home ground.

“If you look at how things like video analysis are becoming crucially important to soccer teams, we just think that small steps can be made at no additional cost to allow us to do things like this at the ground,” said Kadodia.

On another administrative issue, United will continue their deal with kit manufacturer Umbro, but remain the only club in the PSL without a title sponsor.

“We need the club to be financially sustainable — that is one of our immediate goals,” said Kadodia. “If investors want to be a part of the team then they can.

“Sponsorship is open to anybody who can add some kind of value to the team.”

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