Madlala says ‘no’ to PSL post

2011-12-09 00:00

GOLDEN Arrows chairperson Mato Madlala has declined the opportunity to become the first female CEO of South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.

Instead, experienced football administrator Stanley Matthews will fill the post that has been vacant since the resignation of Zola Majavu in October, the league’s chairperson, Irvin Khoza, announced at a press conference held in Johannesburg yesterday.

Khoza acknowledged that attempts to lure Madlala into filling the position had proved unfruitful.

“Mato Madlala was not available, due to issues of distance and her commitments in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Khoza, who had previously expressed his desire for Madlala to take the job.

Speaking to The Witness shortly after the announcement, Madlala said that her priorities are in KZN.

“I suppose so,” she said when asked if she felt honoured to have been so heavily linked with the position.

“If somebody wants me to do a job for them them, it means that they think that I have done good work at my club.

“My main reason for saying ‘no’ was my club; it is my number one priority.”

Madlala also ruled out any possibility that the CEO position is one that she would consider in the future.

“I have things to do in this province before I do anything else,” she said. “There are huge challenges and we need to find solutions to the problems that we have in our province.”

Madlala explained that giving young footballers in KZN the opportunities to enhance their footballing ability is what she is focusing her attention on.

Matthews, who gave up his post as SuperSport United general manager to take up the position, was referred to as a “grounded” individual by Khoza. “I have a firm understanding of where we’re coming from, and where we’re going to, but I don’t want to fix anything that’s not broken,” Matthews said.

“The clubs will have a chance early next year to meet with us and address any concerns or problems they may have.”

Khoza added that Matthews will start his three-year term in February.

“I’m emotional, humble and excited, but most of all I’m appreciative,” Matthews said.

“I appreciate that the chairperson and the executive committee have the confidence to appoint me as the CEO of a top brand — the No 1 league on the continent.”

Khoza said the appointment of Matthews (42) was part of a rebuilding process within the league.

“A lot of us [PSL officials] have only five or six years left, then we’re gone,” Khoza said.

“We need to start planning for the future and bringing youth into the PSL.

“We also need to keep up with the trends in international football.”

Matthews, a former director of football at SuperSport United — three-time league winners in the last four seasons — has also sat on the PSL and SA Football Association executive committees.

Khoza believes Matthews’s experience will give him the tools he needed to lead the organisation.

“Mr Matthews has a great knowledge of football, he’s very articulate, and I think he will bring more value to the PSL after holding a number of positions in the league,” he said.

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