Bloemfontein Celtic

Photo: Bloem_Celtic

PSL news: After losing Celtic, will Bloemfontein get another club?

Bloemfontein Celtic fans have had their souls ripped out this week, after their club relocated to KZN. But is there a political solution to this issue?

Bloemfontein Celtic

Photo: Bloem_Celtic

Over 50 years of history has been wiped out in one fell swoop: Bloemfontein Celtic, stalwarts of the PSL and the wider football community of South Africa, were sold on to Royal AM owner Shauwn Mkhize for an estimated R50 million this week, following a sustained period of financial instability.

What next for Bloemfontein Celtic fans?

That means the flagship club of Bloem, which attracted thousands of fans to each game, will now relocate to KwaZulu-Natal. Even for the most die-hard fan, that’s an unenviable commute. The scourge of franchise football has forced another fanbase into the wilderness, and for James Letuka, this is unacceptable.

Letuka is a Member of the Free State Legislature. He has called for a political solution that would keep a high standard of football in Bloemfontein – and he believes building something ‘from the grassroots’ is the best way to go.

“We call upon the provincial sports department to work with local clubs in order to cultivate football at a grassroots level so that the province can once again produce a legendary team that will represent us all.” | James Letuka

Free State Government told to find ‘sporting solution’

The DA representative has lamented the way that Bloemfontein Celtic saw their time come to an end, and Letuka highlights the enormous ‘economic activity’ in the region, which was generated by matchdays. For the time being, that is gone, and the opposition party wants a more organic solution to these franchise fears.

Free State officials are now being asked to respond to this gaping void of football, by assessing the contribution ‘sports tourism’ makes to the local economy. This factor, it is hoped, will bring the game back to Bloemfontein one day.

“The DA would have liked to see the Free State Provincial Government actively involved in doing more to keep Bloemfontein Celtic in the Free State, especially since the club attracted many spectators during local matches and events such as the annual Macufe Cup, which brought some economic activity and entertainment to the province.”

“Bloemfontein Celtic was founded in 1969 and had over many years become the pride and joy for many passionate supporters. What’s more, sport is an important instrument to build social cohesion and that sports tourism has the potential to add income to local economies in the Free State.”