PSL golden oldies make way

Change is on the cards as new brand of vi­brant ad­min­is­tra­tors with young blood is poised to take over from old-school lead­ers

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

The youth league is get­ting ready to take over the run­ning of the Premier Soc­cer League (PSL). Judg­ing by the newly re-elected PSL chair’s ut­ter­ances, this may well be the last term for the golden oldies in the league ex­ec­u­tive.

It is clear that the league has al­ready started think­ing about the fu­ture. Al­ready out of the pic­ture are longest­serv­ing mem­bers of the ex­ec­u­tive Mike Mokoena, who de­cided it was time to let go, and John Comi­tis, who lost dur­ing this week’s elec­tions.

Some of the youth league mem­bers wait­ing in the wings to take over af­ter four years in­clude Rantsi Mokoena, Jes­sica Mo­taung, Nkosana Khoza, Floyd Mbele and Khum­bu­lani Konco.

In fact, there is a power shift al­ready as the three elected mem­bers – Jose Fer­reira, Konco and Re­joice Sime­lane – are bring­ing a dif­fer­ent di­men­sion to the league.

PSL boss Irvin Khoza said it was time they in­tro­duced young blood to share their ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge. This is a clear sign that a suc­ces­sion plan is al­ready in place.

The first sign was the elec­tion of Konco to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, mak­ing him the youngest mem­ber in the his­tory of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing com­mit­tee.

Khoza made it clear that they would have to re­main rel­e­vant to the mar­ket if they were to sur­vive the tough and chal­leng­ing eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment.

“It is a ques­tion of deal­ing with suc­ces­sion to say, ‘how do we deal with is­sues of pass­ing over ex­pe­ri­ence?’ be­cause most of us are on our way out sooner than later,” he said.

At the end of his fifth term, Khoza will be 72. In fact, he will have been at the helm for 18 years af­ter he was re­elected un­op­posed again this week.

“In our last elec­tions, we took the young blood into our sub-com­mit­tees so that they could be in­te­grated into the work­ings of the PSL; so that by the time they come into the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, they have an idea of how things work,” Khoza said this week.

Sime­lane, an econ­o­mist by train­ing, would add value on the busi­ness side of the sport, he said.

“If there is one thing that has been miss­ing in our dis­tri­bu­tion of con­tent, it is that we have never dis­cussed the busi­ness side of foot­ball,” Khoza said.

“I think be­cause of her unique­ness in terms of qual­i­fi­ca­tions, I’m go­ing to make it her re­spon­si­bil­ity to be a com­men­ta­tor on the eco­nomic ef­fect of foot­ball,” he said.

“Jose is go­ing to be han­dling is­sues, for in­stance, on the statutes be­cause he was in the le­gal and con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee as a sub-com­mit­tee mem­ber. So now he is go­ing to be the one faced with that kind of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Khum­bu­lani is what we call, in our speak, the IT gen­er­a­tion. He’s com­ing in with those skills and he is one of the youth league, as we call them in the PSL.”

The challenge will be how to re­main rel­e­vant in the me­dia space when it comes to con­sump­tion of con­tent.

“If your con­tent is not ex­cit­ing and can­not be used in so­cial me­dia, you fall out of favour,” he said.

“What’s ex­cit­ing to me is to re­main rel­e­vant and be part of the talk­ing point. If your col­leagues show con­fi­dence in you, de­spite all that has been said, it says a lot more than money in the bank for me. It means Irvin Khoza can­not fail us and I can­not mis­place their con­fi­dence.

“It also en­cour­ages me to stretch my­self. I know it is not easy to re­main rel­e­vant for 18 years, but there is so much ex­cite­ment in our space, es­pe­cially if you are pas­sion­ate about the brand.”

He said he was driven by his pas­sion for the game. “Even when days are dark or you feel down, you make sure you wake up and move for­ward be­cause of this pas­sion.”

He said he hoped the in­crease in prize money for con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tions would mo­ti­vate clubs to take par­tic­i­pat­ing se­ri­ously.

“I think our clubs will soon re­alise the ef­fect of par­tic­i­pat­ing in con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball, and what it does for the brand.

“This is part of brand ex­ten­sion, and if you are of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to do so, it is a good start­ing point. It also gives sta­tus to the league to say we are not only fi­nan­cially strong, but can also com­pete.”

PHOTO: BACKPAGEPIX

HEAD HONCHOS The newly elected PSL ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (from left) Khum­bu­lani Konco, Stan­ley Matthews, Kaizer Mo­taung, Re­joice Sime­lane, Irvin Khoza, Mato Mad­lala, David Thi­diela and Jose Fer­reira

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