Absa Premiership

It's time coaches said 'enough is enough' to the crazy Chippa

S'Busiso Mseleku
S'Busiso Mseleku

Cape Town - I doubt there was a sane sports journalist who was surprised when an email titled "Chippa United part ways with Dan Malesela" landed in their inbox at 15:38 on Wednesday.

Chippa United boss Siviwe "Chippa" Mpengesi has gained notoriety over the speed at which he pulls the trigger on coaches.

READ: Chippa United sack coach, hire Tinkler

In many nations - including South Africa - the national coach position is usually the most poisoned chalice any mentor can dream of.

Hence Bafana Bafana have a list of 23 former coaches strewn all over the floor after being shown the door by the SA Football Association since 1992.

However, Mpengesi is at another level and has made the coaching position at his underperforming Nelson Mandela Bay-based outfit the hottest seat in South African football, changing 17 coaches in seven years.

Actually, Mpengesi has made this such a habit that I think it is high time his head gets examined.

His behaviour suggests that he does not have the capacity to introspect.

I doubt he can even fathom the idea that three fingers are pointed at you when you point one at somebody else.

However, I would also like to take issue with the coaches who have been entertaining Mpengesi, including his latest victim Malesela, or even his next would-be casualty Eric Tinkler.

The way Malesela and his predecessors - including Roger Sikhakhane - keep going back for more abuse can be likened to the behaviour of a spouse in an abusive relationship.

It's a question of "how long will Tinkler last" until Chippa does what it is infamous for.

This week, Malesela told fellow journalist Marc Strydom: "It's embarrassing. To me and my family and the people who represent me."

I say you exposed yourself to that embarrassment by going back to the club that once put you on "special leave" before reinstating, firing and then re-employing you in May, only to sack you three games into the current season.

An embarrassment indeed!

The shenanigans at Chippa United also show how the structure called the SA Football Coaches Association is just a toothless dog.

At the time I penned this piece, I had not heard even a cough coming from their direction.

Isn't part of their duty to protect their own?

When will this useless structure draw the line, confront Mpengesi and tell him that he cannot continue treating its members as instruments, if not toys? They should actually go a step further, and bar their members from joining that club.

It is high time Mpengesi is told to become the be all and end all at his club. He must don a tracksuit, train the players during the week and, on weekends wear a suit, sit on the bench and direct their fortunes.

He can even drive the club's bus, for goodness sake!

Are there no labour laws guarding the employment of coaches in this country?

Don't they have any rights that protect them from getting kicked around like soccer balls by the likes of Mpengesi?

The goings on at Chippa United are bull, if you ask me.

There, I said it!

At this rate, even the Premier Soccer League should intervene because I don't think what is happening at that club - which is their affiliate - is doing their brand any good.

But I might also be expecting too much from an organisation that has had a club chairperson as acting chief executive for more than two years. However, that is a subject for another day.

My appeal today is that something needs to be done before Mpengesi's behaviour destroys South African football.

We have seen bosses such as David Thidiela, Mike Mokoena and Patrice Motsepe fire coaches at the drop of a hat during stages of their club ownership, but Mpengesi is overdoing it and his zeal is destructive.

Somebody, please stop him!

- smseleku@citypress.co.za

Follow me on Twitter @Sbu_Mseleku

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