Inconsistent decisions can destroy PSL

Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

The subject of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) refusing to grant Mamelodi Sundowns postponement of some of their domestic fixtures due to the fact that they are engaged in the CAF Champions League was discussed thoroughly over the weekend.

However, I feel I need to briefly touch on the subject before I move onto other issues.

It has been pointed out that this decision came as a surprise given that there has been a precedent as Orlando Pirates have been given the same leeway when they went as far as the final in the CAF Confederation Cup last season and previously the CAF Champions League.

And this brings us to the thorny question: Was it because the Pirates chairman is also the PSL chairman?

The PSL has done great work in building the brand over its 20 years of existence.

Now, such decisions can destroy their image in a jiffy.

Lest we forget, while the PSL prides itself on adhering to strict corporate governance, the chairman’s issue remains a pain in their most tender part.

And besides having a club chairman also occupying the same seat at the PSL executive committee, the league had the temerity to appoint another club chairman - Mato Madlala of Lamontville Golden Arrows - as the PSL's acting CEO.

While we were told that this is a temporal measure, she has been in the position for close to a year now and we still haven’t heard anything about plans to find a new, independent, need I add suitably qualified CEO.

And just in case some have forgotten, the PSL was put in a compromising position when Arrows officials were involved in a scuffle at the end of their match against Maritzburg United towards the end of last season.

These are the small things that the PSL needs to guard against, lest they leave their image with an indelible shiner.

Moving along: With three rounds of the Absa Premiership played and the MTN8 headed for the final, one is already able to make some calls on this season.

With most clubs having played three league matches, Pirates are perched at the top with seven points, with last year’s runners up, Bidvest Wits second with the same number of points.

However, Pirates disappointed with a lackluster performance that resulted in a goalless draw against Cape Town City on Tuesday night, seeing Eric Tinkler snatch a point away from his former employers. Tinkler previously led his newly-formed side to victory over Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8.

The blip must be a spot of bother for Pirates coach Muhsin Ertugral following a seamless start.

Baroka FC – as to be expected – are rooted at the bottom of the table with a single point from three outings. They share this scenario with last season’s strugglers, Free State Stars.

Bloemfontein Celtic are third from bottom with a single point as well albeit with only two matches while Sundowns round off the clubs with only one point but to their defence, the defending champions have only played one league match that ended in a draw.

While their hard-fought 1-0 win – their first victory of the season - against newcomers Highlands Park has lifted Chiefs to fifth position, just three points behind leaders Pirates, their performance was far from impressive.

I still see them struggling again this season unless some serious changes are made.

With a full fixture list for the weekend, the scene might change dramatically come Sunday evening.

The saying that the cream will always rise to the top has come true in the MTN8 with last season’s league champions Sundowns booking themselves a place in the final scheduled for October 1 at Mbombela Stadium.

They will face last season’s league runners up, Wits, in what promises to be cracker of a match as Gavin Hunt hunts for his first silverware with the students while Pitso Mosimane aims to take a first step towards his side sweeping the tables this season.

I can’t wait for this one.

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football.  He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor

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