Finweek English Edition - - COVER STORY -

One of the big ques­tion marks hov­er­ing over the in­dus­try right now is whether greedy ad­min­is­tra­tors are un­fairly cash­ing in on this vast amount of cash be­ing pumped into the soc­cer in­dus­try and whether there is even any real sus­tain­able in­vest­ment for the busi­nesses.

One foot­ball agent who spoke to Fin­week ex­pressed con­ster­na­tion at the fact that there have been many cases where South African soc­cer play­ers strug­gle to sur­vive af­ter re­tire­ment, with many dy­ing poverty-stricken. “While I am not privy to the per­sonal cir­cum­stances lead­ing the dire sit­u­a­tion the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased get left with, there is a gen­eral lack of proper f inan­cial plan­ning in our foot­ball in­dus­try,” says Tim Sukazi, CEO of t a l ent man­age­ment agency QT Sports.

Sukazi says that they now have i nter­ven­tions i n place to as­sist t heir play­ers in putting a proper f inan­cial and re­tire­ment plan in place.

Salaries vary widely ‒ there are play­ers, some even play­ing for the big clubs, who earn a pal­try R5 000 a month. Sukazi quickly comes to the de­fence of Chiefs and Pi­rates, stat­ing that th­ese teams’ con­tracted play­ers do not earn less than than R30 000 a month.

The Pre­mier Soc­cer League pro­vides grants of R2m to all of the 16 soc­cer teams that par­take in the Ab­saspon­sored com­pe­ti­tion. The money is used for the run­ning costs of the club in­clud­ing salaries and other over­heads. The clubs, how­ever, have to pay their own sta­dium rentals. In­ter­est­ingly, none of the foot­ball clubs ac­tu­ally own a sta­dium. Sta­dium ren­tal per match can cost up to R200 000.

How­ever, Chiefs have signed a sweet deal with the Mbombela Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity where the team is paid by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to bring its games to the iconic 2010 World Cup sta­dium. Chiefs pock­ets about R1.5m per match staged at the sta­dium. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity then also fi­nances se­cu­rity and clean­ing ser­vices. This in­vest­ment also presents busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal small ven­dors.

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