Absa Premiership

Clubs narrow angle on sale deal of ‘R60m’

QUIET:  Thanda Royal Zulu club chair Pierre Delvaux.
QUIET: Thanda Royal Zulu club chair Pierre Delvaux.

Johannesburg - The sale deal between Thanda Royal Zulu FC and AmaZulu FC – rumoured to have cost about R60 million – could be concluded as early as this week.

This after PSL chief executive Mato Madlala confirmed to City Press on Thursday that the league had received all the relevant documents from the two parties.

“We have now embarked on the due process of seeing that the agreements reached by the two parties tick all the boxes,” she said.

She flatly refused to reveal the amount agreed upon, saying this was confidential.

Meeting taking place

An insider who is close to the matter said the deal was “90% through”, pending the PSL executive committee endorsement.

This source said that, by the end of the week, the sale documents from Thanda and AmaZulu had been circulated among PSL executive committee members, who would study them and provide feedback.

“Much as the documents tick most of the boxes, I doubt that such a decision can be made without a meeting taking place.

“There is a lot to be deliberated on and I think an urgent meeting will be called for sometime this coming week,” the source said.

Umhlathuze Local Municipality was devastated when news of the pending deal emerged.

Umhlathuze mayor Mdu Mhlongo said they had received a response to a letter they had written to the PSL, asking the league to block the sale.

The PSL said it had no powers to intervene as this was a private matter between two parties.

Mhlongo said the council had scheduled a meeting for Tuesday and the matter was at the top of the agenda.

“I can reiterate that we are devastated as we had already made plans for the coming season, and the people from this region were excited that they were going to watch PSL matches right on their doorstep,” he said.

Bones of contention

Council spokesperson Mdu Ncalane was quoted in the Sowetan last week saying that the council had already approved a R40 million budget to assist Thanda in the coming season.

“We have been funding the club since 2014. We have spent more than R30 million on Thanda,” he said.

Mhlongo said the R40 million budget was for the upgrading of the stadium in line with bringing it up to Fifa standards.

“We had been consulting with Professor Ronnie Schloss [who checks and approves venues for PSL matches] and were to upgrade the stadium accordingly,” said the mayor.

Mhlongo said the council had also agreed to give Thanda R5 million before the coming season and had roped in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality to chip in the same amount.

He also revealed that one of the major bones of contention was a three-year deal the council had entered into with Thanda owner Pierre Delvaux in March.

Pending agreement

“We agreed to sponsor the club in March after Pierre approached the council with a proposal. He said the club was in financial crisis and could not honour its immediate fixtures,” explained Mhlongo.

“The council gave them R1 million at the time and later gave them R1.5 million to assist them in honouring their league obligations until the end of the season.”

He said the council had then entered into the three-year service level agreement with a view that the club would remain in the area for at least that period.

City Press was also informed that Delvaux had inserted a clause in the pending agreement with AmaZulu that they should play at least seven of their official games at the Richards Bay Stadium next season.

AmaZulu general manager Lunga Sokhela dismissed the said clause as “one of those rumours that are doing the rounds”, while Delvaux did not answer his cellphone nor respond to an SMS sent requesting comment.

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