PSL Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu FC

Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu FC celebrates scoring with Andre de Jong during the PSL match between Amazulu FC and Stellenbosch FC at Princess Magogo Stadium on 6 November 2019 ©Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

PSL clubs itching to get back onto the field and earn their coin

Like many South Africans the PSL wants to get back to work with clubs in desperate need of the money generated by televised matches.

PSL Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu FC

Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu FC celebrates scoring with Andre de Jong during the PSL match between Amazulu FC and Stellenbosch FC at Princess Magogo Stadium on 6 November 2019 ©Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs are reportedly growing increasingly restless about the ongoing lockdown and its financial impact on football.

For many PSL clubs, a long period of inaction or the cancellation of the season would mean serious financial peril.

PSL clubs want to get back to work

AmaZulu general manager Lunga Sokhela says that PSL clubs can afford to pay for extensive testing if they are allowed to return to play even if it is behind closed doors.

Without the revenue generated from the PSL’s deal with broadcasting giant Supersport most, the league would effectively fold.

“It’s something that we will comply with‚ and something that we can afford‚” AmaZulu’s GM told Timeslive.

“I think we would work very closely with the department of health as football. We’ll also have to check and see if it’s covered by the medical cover we have.

“I think at the end of the day what’s important is that we do whatever it takes to protect everybody involved.”

The PSL clubs are apparently in agreement that the current campaign must be finished before plans can even begin to be put in place for the next campaign. The clubs have not even discussed a cut-off date.

“There was no cut-off date discussed. I think the rules allow for the season to be extended in circumstances like this‚” Sokhela said.

“And I think clubs have taken a stand that even if we finish in September/October, then that must be the case. We have to finish the season.

“You’ll remember in 2010 the season finished in February [ahead of the hosting of the World Cup], so it is possible to play a compressed season.

“I don’t think it’s in anybody’s interest to declare the season null and void. Because it leaves a lot of things not concluded – from a sponsorship point of view‚ we’ve got contractual obligations both as a club and the league to the sponsors and the broadcasters. So it would muddy the waters.

“And also if you look at the question of fans‚ whether you’re looking at the top of the league‚ at the bottom‚ or the GladAfrica Championship [First Division]‚ promotion and relegation. It won’t be a fair process.”

Breach of contract

Sokhela said that players who don’t want to play once the health department had cleared a return risked being in breach of contract.

“I think if the health department approves us playing, then they will do that after doing their investigations. I don’t think they will allow us to play if they don’t think it’s safe to.

“So you can’t as a player then come and say you don’t want to comply with your contracts.”

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