Stuart Baxter. Image: @alfavina / Twitter
Stuart Baxter. Image: @alfavina / Twitter
Back in April it was dramatically confirmed that Stuart Baxter – who was in his second stint with Kaizer Chiefs – had been officially shown the door by Amakhosi.
MIXED REACTION: SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLODES AFTER BAXTER’S CHIEFS AXING
In an exclusive interview with SABC Sport, Baxter has now stated that he actually felt the team could have rebounded to finish as runners-up spot in the Premiership, while revealing why he had no option but to part ways with Amakhosi.
He also touched further on his virtually non-existent relationship with Bafana boss Hugo Broos during his time as Chiefs coach.
“No, I’ve never spoken to the man. I have read his comments and I think some of them are relevant and some of them are the frustrations of a coach working outside of his home country,” explained Baxter.
“I’ve had that and I don’t think you can take every sentence that every coach says…I was going to say seriously. But sometimes you take it and it’s a bit out of context and it sounds quite irrational. Hugo is a serious coach, trying to do a serious job in South Africa and I think he reacts to things that he doesn’t experience as being as serious as him.”
Several weeks ago, Broos said the conduct of the league ‘is not normal’ after he struggled to set up meetings with the PSL coaches.
Broos revealed that he is yet to meet local top-flight coaches due to the PSL’s poor administration and communication.
“The problem is the league, again. In August last year I tried to have a meeting with coaches but it wasn’t successful,” Broos told Sowetan.
“Now I wrote a letter after December, I followed the procedures, we sent it to the league to send it to the clubs and they didn’t.
“There was a confirmation period… January 16, but I received no answer. We extended that confirmation period to January 26 and again there was no answer from any coach. I was very angry.
“I heard the league only sent the letter to coaches on January 28, nearly one month later. I can’t blame the coaches because they didn’t see the letter from the league, this is unbelievable, so I cancelled the meetings.
“And then on February 3, I received a letter from the league with the coaches who want to come. Now I will try to have a meeting with the league because we have to discuss all these things. This is not normal.’’
Meanwhile, in his first interview since being fired, Baxter has now shared the reasoning behind coming back to the club, and why it didn’t pan out as expected.
“First of all, my history with Chiefs is something that I think is a bit special. It’s a got special part in my heart, and my experiences with Chiefs until coming back now was only positive…only filled with happiness, with passion, with motivation, with a relationship with supporters and the players I had worked with. So, that’s important that I made that point. That’s why I came back. That’s why I considered coming back because you try not to go back to places you have worked before…
“When I came back, I knew what had been going on before. I knew what happened before I came the first time, I knew what happened since I left and I just I got this passion to do what I could to put things right.
“To pull things back together again…so that’s the second point. And everything that had been said between me and Chiefs led me to believe that, that would be the case. So, coming back- a lot of work to do, not because coaches before me have not done the job properly. But because the circumstances there were still that there was an embargo (FIFA ban), then Covid.
“There were so many things…do we sign new players? Do we bring them from the academy, can we replace a new culture, can we do all of that and can we be successful and win something? So, that was what I was trying to do.
“When you don’t get to finish that, of course you are not happy. Of course, I’d have liked to continue and see what we could do. But I have to say, the conditions became not conducive for either me or Chiefs.
“So, we sat down and agreed to part company. And that is sad for me because of what I’ve just said. Therefore, I would have liked to continue because I think we could’ve finished Top 2 and I don’t where the table will finish now, but I just think that there’s a sadness for my side that we didn’t get to do that. It wasn’t the way I thought it would be when I actually came back. As things unfolded it wasn’t what I thought It would be.”
Chiefs will next be in action against Sekhukhune United, which will be followed by a final PSL game against Swallows.