BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC will lease the Dr R.P. Molemela Stadium (previously the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium) in Kagisanong in Bloemfontein for only R128 640 over a period of one year from the Mangaung Metro Municipality. The club received the green light to lease the stadium at the latest council meeting. The cost amounts to R10 720 per month. In addition, the lease agreement will be for 20 years with the understanding that the lease amount can be adjusted after a year when Celtics hand in their bank statements. Celtic is one of the 16 professional football clubs campaigning in South Africa’s elite Premier Soccer League (PSL). The assessor, who had to suggest a fair lease amount to the council, suggested this amount, since Bloemfontein Celtic will also be responsible for the maintenance and the insurance of the stadium. According to the report put before the council, proper consultation with the public has already taken place. Dalena Dennis, a DA councillor, asked if there were any politicians who had an active interest in Bloemfontein Celtic, with specific reference to the Free State premier, Elias Ace Magashule. Dennis suggested that when a rise in the lease amount had to be determined after a year and when Celtic had handed in its bank statements, the issue had to once again be brought before the council for discussion. She said too much power would be given to the city manager and the financial manager if they alone determined the increase in the lease amount.The ANC has utterly rejected her proposal. Finally, the council unanimously agreed that Celtic could lease the Dr R.P. Molemela Stadium for a year after the signing of the contract for the amount agreed, since it was in the interest of football in general. The council also decided that the lease amount could be adjusted after a year and that the matter need not be returned to the council. After the council meeting, Hardie Viviers, DA caucus leader, told the media that his party was gravely concerned that Celtic would lease the stadium for a minimum of R10 700 per month for the next 20 years.“We feel that the matter must once again be presented to the metro council for further discussion when the contract has expired after a year.”No other political parties debated the lease agreement in the council.