SuperSport bosses use Hunt’s unveiling to slam ‘irresponsible journalism’

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Gavin Hunt. Photo: Gallo Images
Gavin Hunt. Photo: Gallo Images


A visibly annoyed SuperSport United hierarchy used the unveiling of new head coach Gavin Hunt to take a swipe at the media for “irresponsible” journalism.

This came after a week of frantic reports saying the club was either sold or in the process of being sold to London-based Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa.

At the announcement and unveiling of Hunt as their new coach for the next two seasons, SuperSport chairperson Khulu Sibiya lambasted some sections of the media that ran with the story of the apparent sale of the club without speaking to him.

“Nobody has ever approached the club or me in regard to the sale of the club and nobody has even shown an interest to buy the club,” Sibiya, who edited City Press from 1988 to 2000, said on Thursday.

He said:

I don’t know the kind of journalism we have in this country [these days] if this is the standard way of doing things.

“As a former journalist myself, I would never ever write a story of this nature unless I speak to all the relevant people.”

He said people were “making a huge mistake” if they thought the rumours would destabilise the club.

“We’re in the business of running a club that is well-oiled. As a result, I am glad to announce to you our new coach, Gavin Hunt. He is coming back home, and I am very happy. I think he is going to take this club to a very high level.”

SuperSport chief executive Stan Matthews dismissed reports of the apparent pending sale of the club as “irresponsible and misinformed journalism”.

READ: New SuperSport coach Gavin back at his happy hunting ground

“I even feel like I am wasting time talking about it now. The club is not for sale. We can put that one to bed now. I’m tired of answering the same question for three years in a row.”

“It’s very frustrating and disappointing that there is such a media frenzy about this thing,” Matthews said.

Hunt returns to a club he had a successful period with between 2007 and 2010, winning three consecutive premiership titles to become the first South African coach to do so.

He left in 2013 after six years with SuperSport to join the now defunct Bidvest Wits, where he went on to win his fourth premiership title as a coach.

After Wits, Hunt has had an eight-month stint with Kaizer Chiefs from September 2020 to May 2021, and another one with Chippa United from July 2021.

He said the timing was right for a move back to SuperSport, and saw it as an opportunity to build a new team.

The 57-year-old Cape Town-born coach said:

They’ve certainly got the nucleus of the team and it is not like I am going to start from scratch.

SuperSport have a relatively young squad, with the majority of players in their early or mid-20s.

“We need to look at the younger players who came through the ranks who did very well last season. We need to give that a good and honest assessment and see what to do.”

“It feels great to be back.”

Jesse Donn (23), Luke Fleurs (22), Selaelo Rasebotja (21) and Thalente Mbhatha (22) are some of the young players who are key in the SuperSport squad, who already have premiership experience under their belts.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
Stats SA's recent consumer price index data this week indicated the rise in food prices was the largest in 14 years. Economists say continued load shedding also adds to the rise in the cost of food production. How are you feeding your family during this tough time?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I have a food garden
6% - 63 votes
I rely on sales
22% - 224 votes
I buy necessities
72% - 726 votes