Angry fans force Celtic sale
BLOEMFONTEIN — Bloemfontein Celtic chairman Max Tshabalala has revealed that he is actively seeking to sell the Absa Premiership club following Saturday’s defeat to Orlando Pirates.
The match was marred by violent scenes in the closing stages of the contest, with a section of fans from both clubs pictured clashing behind the goals.
The violence left Tshabalala with a bitter taste in his mouth, and he has since decided to end his association with the Absa Premiership club.
In a statement published on the club’s official website, Tshabalala said: “I must concede my heart is painful at how some supporters behaved last night.
“Vandalizing the stadium, fighting and hurting Pirates supporters in the process and clearly the situation has gone out of hand.
“It was also hurt seeing a National Heritage Site (which is part of the 2010 World Cup Legacy) being ripped apart because of frustrations against one man (Max Tshabalala), we need to respect and maintain our infrastructure.
“I personally respect human-life and would like to see our people growing rather than being hurt. I was pained to see innocent soccer loving fans being beaten some to a pulp and that led me to the decision to sell the team.
“Our supporters are deliberately bringing the league into disrepute just to hurt me as an individual.
“This is not about the performance of the team but Max Tshabalala. I had a chat with some of the fans who boldly told me they hate me and want me out of the team with immediate effect hence I am calling on businessmen in and around Mangaung to come up with offers to buy the team and take Celtic forward.
“I love Celtic and if I’m the one standing in the way of its successes then the best thing is to sell it to those who will be able to satisfy the supporters.”
He added: “I want offers urgently and will be open and honest enough to show whoever that is interested to acquire the team what we have spent and the required amount to purchase the team.
“This team will never ever be relegated and I even addressed the players telling them of the situation.
“We must remember that the league has never in recent times experienced such intolerable deeds of barbarism and for that to happen through Celtic supporters has left me emotionally paralyzed.”
Tshabalala also took the opportunity to apologise to the fans who were injured during the scenes of violence.
He said: “Lastly to families and friends of the supporters who were injured and threatened yesterday, I apologise from the depth of my heart for what you went through.
“Football stadiums are a family environment and the game is a sport that is enjoyed by the young and old, I am sorry that people had to experience such acts of violence.”
Meanwhile, head coach Serame Letsoaka says he does not regret joining Phunya Sele Sele and he believes that the only thing missing from his charges is capitalising from their goal scoring opportunities.
The 52-year-old resigned from Lamontville Golden Arrows to replace Clinton Larsen at Celtic last December and has found the going much tougher than he anticipated at the City of Roses.
When Larsen departed from Celtic, they were placed 6th on the log and are now 12th.
“No not at all, I don’t regret coming here (To Celtic),” Letsoaka told reporters in a postmatch press conference on Saturday.
“This is a good working environment and I like it here. We are just going through a rough patch at the moment but we’ll pull through.
“There are quality players in this team, the only thing that we need to do is to find the back of the net because the team has been playing good football since I took over.
“But in football playing well means nothing if you are not getting the three points and at this stage we are just not getting those points.”
Bloemfontein Celtic club.