End of the road as Maritzburg sink

Albert Einstein once quipped that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. Maritzburg United were finally relegated to the Motsepe Foundation Championship (MFC), after being synonymous with the relegation battle in the last 15 years that they spent in the PSL. In fact, Maritzburg and the relegation dog fight went together like Snoop Dogg and the left-handed cigarette.

It has been long coming and the inevitable finally happened –it was just a matter of when.

Club chairperson Farouk Kadodia has been around the block long enough to fathom that it’s not easy to bounce back from the MFC to the DStv Premiership. They can ask Cape Town Spurs, the team that pipped them for the PSL spot in the relegation/promotion play-offs, about the rough and tumble of the SA first division. It took them a good five years to regain their place among the big boys.

Polokwane City also spent considerable time in the second tier of SA diski fighting to get back to the SA top flight.

Maybe now is the right time for Kadodia to finally sell, he has been contemplating putting the franchise up for sale, after costs of running the club kept sky-rocketing. The KZN businessman was forced to adopt a rather tricky business model and had become a selling club.

He sold a lot of his players to keep the club above water. Orlando Pirates benefited immensely from Kadodia’s jumble sale. Bandile Shandu, Sphesihle Ndlovu, Fortune Makaringe and Richard Ofori, were some of the players that moved from the Natal Midlands to Orlando.

Rushinee De Reuck, Lebogang Maboe, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Judas Moseamedi and Evans Rusike to mention but a few, had to be sold to keep the wolves at bay. Maybe the biggest question that needs to be answered is why businessmen sacrifice their businesses to buy football franchises when it is clearly not so profitable to own a club.

Many club bosses, Max Tshabalala, Pat Malabela, Abram Sello, Dumisani Ndlovu, Masala Mulaudzi, have taken a chance and learned the hard way that it isn’t a walk on the beach. Maybe it looks cool to rub shoulders with the likes of Kaizer Motaung, Irvin Khoza, Patrice Motsepe, Sandile Zungu, Shauwn “MaMkhize” Mkhize and other luminaries, but it is one hell of a costly, bothersome exercise.

 Tshabalala thought that owning Bloemfontein Celtic would make him god of the Free State, but it only pierced holes in his pockets. He later got rid of the club before it got him in all sorts of money woes.

Chippa United are probably next to face the relegation firing squad. They have been dodging the bullet for some time now and they’re running out of survival ideas with every season. Chippa boss Siviwe Mpengesi has an addiction of firing coaches, and he seems to suffer from withdrawal symptoms if he does not pull the trigger on hapless trainers such as Dan “Dance” Malesela, Lehlohonolo Seema, Morgan Mammila and Kurt Lentjies.

Again, Chippa scraped through by the skin of their teeth and survived the relegation axe by a whisker – they finished on position 14 and live to see another season in the PSL.

Mpengesi has employed former office administrator Morgan Mammila as head coach for next season and that is a first class ticket to the first division.

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