Celtic bosses drop the ball

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Sinki Leshabane Photo: Facebook

Best man for the job now seems to be a woman

The Premier Soccer League, Bloemfontein Celtic, is set to be under new ownership by the end of this week. This will bring to an end the Max Tshabalala era, which has been a rocky affair since he bought the club from Jimmy Augousti in 2014.
Bloemfontein Courant has been reliably informed that the Bloemfontein businesswoman and current owner of the ABC Motsepe League, Sinki Leshabane, will sign a contract for the purchase of the financially embattled Celtic on Friday.
The financial trouble at Celtic has been well documented over the past few months, and this has also led to the players and coaching staff feeling the pinch as it has become a monthly occurrence where they do not receive their full salaries, or in some cases some have been paid and others not.
Tshabalala indicated that he was putting the club up for sale and this has led to an outcry by the Siwelele faithful. This was due to an unnamed Kimberley businessman who was linked with buying the club. The supporters of the club were rioting, as they were led to believe that he wanted to relocate the club to the Northern Cape.
It is true that there was interest from Kimberley, however, relocating the team was not entirely true. The potential buyer wanted half of the team’s home games in the PSL to be played in Kimberley, for which he was prepared pay an extra R1 million on top of the asking price. Considering the club’s financial trouble, an extra R8 million in the bank account would have been smart business.
As it is, Tshabalala last week applied for sequestration due to the financial troubles. He has put several of his properties up for sale in order to generate funds to pay off debt and play the players’ salaries.
What is unclear at this stage, is whether or not Leshabane and her said-to-be business partner, Dr Moeketsi Mosola, have agreed to purchase the six townhouses in Park Avenue, Jan Wilkens Street, which the club owns. Tshabalala purchased the properties in order to accommodate numerous of his players.
Standard Bank has approached the High Court in Bloemfontein to recuperate the some R4 million owned by the club on the property bonds.
These units in the northern suburbs were included in the original package when Tshabalala put the club on the market.
The sale of Bloemfontein Celtic is practically a done deal, however, the matter is in the hands of the PSL at the moment. Leshabane has confirmed that the entire deal is pending the final approval by the league, and she is only willing to comment on the matter once the transaction has been completed.
Should Leshabane take over the club on Friday, she will have to solve the wage crises as soon as possible, and also secure a main sponsor for the team. There is a sports betting company which has expressed its interest, however, that in it’s own is a delicate matter and is also in the hands of the league.

Morgan Piek
morgan@centralmediagroup.co.za