Clubs nar­row an­gle on sale deal of ‘R60m’

CityPress - - Sport - S’BU­SISO MSE­LEKU sm­se­leku@city­

The sale deal be­tween Thanda Royal Zulu FC and AmaZulu FC – ru­moured to have cost about R60 mil­lion – could be con­cluded as early as this week.

This af­ter PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive Mato Mad­lala con­firmed to City Press on Thurs­day that the league had re­ceived all the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments from the two par­ties.

“We have now em­barked on the due process of see­ing that the agree­ments reached by the two par­ties tick all the boxes,” she said.

She flatly re­fused to re­veal the amount agreed upon, say­ing this was con­fi­den­tial.

An insider who is close to the mat­ter said the deal was “90% through”, pend­ing the PSL ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee en­dorse­ment.

This source said that, by the end of the week, the sale doc­u­ments from Thanda and AmaZulu had been cir­cu­lated among PSL ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers, who would study them and pro­vide feed­back.

“Much as the doc­u­ments tick most of the boxes, I doubt that such a de­ci­sion can be made with­out a meet­ing tak­ing place.

“There is a lot to be de­lib­er­ated on and I think an ur­gent meet­ing will be called for some­time this com­ing week,” the source said.

Umh­lathuze Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity was dev­as­tated when news of the pend­ing deal emerged.

Umh­lathuze mayor Mdu Mh­longo said they had re­ceived a re­sponse to a let­ter they had writ­ten to the PSL, ask­ing the league to block the sale.

The PSL said it had no pow­ers to in­ter­vene as this was a pri­vate mat­ter be­tween two par­ties.

Mh­longo said the coun­cil had sched­uled a meet­ing for Tues­day and the mat­ter was at the top of the agenda.

“I can re­it­er­ate that we are dev­as­tated as we had al­ready made plans for the com­ing season, and the peo­ple from this re­gion were ex­cited that they were go­ing to watch PSL matches right on their doorstep,” he said.

Coun­cil spokesper­son Mdu Ncalane was quoted in the Sowe­tan last week say­ing that the coun­cil had al­ready ap­proved a R40 mil­lion bud­get to as­sist Thanda in the com­ing season.

“We have been fund­ing the club since 2014. We have spent more than R30 mil­lion on Thanda,” he said.

Mh­longo said the R40 mil­lion bud­get was for the up­grad­ing of the sta­dium in line with bring­ing it up to Fifa stan­dards.

“We had been con­sult­ing with Pro­fes­sor Ron­nie Schloss [who checks and ap­proves venues for PSL matches] and were to up­grade the sta­dium ac­cord­ingly,” said the mayor.

Mh­longo said the coun­cil had also agreed to give Thanda R5 mil­lion be­fore the com­ing season and had roped in the King Cetshwayo Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to chip in the same amount.

He also re­vealed that one of the ma­jor bones of con­tention was a three-year deal the coun­cil had en­tered into with Thanda owner Pierre Del­vaux in March.

“We agreed to spon­sor the club in March af­ter Pierre ap­proached the coun­cil with a pro­posal. He said the club was in fi­nan­cial cri­sis and could not honour its im­me­di­ate fix­tures,” ex­plained Mh­longo.

“The coun­cil gave them R1 mil­lion at the time and later gave them R1.5 mil­lion to as­sist them in hon­our­ing their league obli­ga­tions un­til the end of the season.”

He said the coun­cil had then en­tered into the three­year ser­vice level agree­ment with a view that the club would re­main in the area for at least that pe­riod.

City Press was also in­formed that Del­vaux had in­serted a clause in the pend­ing agree­ment with AmaZulu that they should play at least seven of their of­fi­cial games at the Richards Bay Sta­dium next season.

AmaZulu gen­eral man­ager Lunga Sokhela dis­missed the said clause as “one of those ru­mours that are do­ing the rounds”, while Del­vaux did not an­swer his cell­phone nor re­spond to an SMS sent re­quest­ing com­ment.

QUIET Thanda Royal Zulu club chair Pierre Del­vaux

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