Still going strong
It is fair to say that the Premier Soccer League has had its ups and downs since launching in 1996, but as we play the 20th season of Africa’s strongest league competition, we find our League in good health and on a sturdy footing.
Of course, there remain certain irksome problems that have not been surmounted, chief of which is the fixture list. It is an extremely difficult, and thankless task trying to plot dates taking into consideration the requirements of Safa and its various national teams, the Fifa calendar, the CAF calendar – which is never in sync with Fifa – and the wishes of the sponsorss.
I have long railed against the willingness of the League to spread out cup rounds over a number of matchdays (even a couple of weeks), and while the tendency persists, at least cup rounds are not strung out quite as much as previously.
I do feel too, that League administrators can be more imaginative in structuring the fixture list. If Fifa/safa/ CAF are going to disrupt the schedule, do your best to control it where you can. For example, play four rounds of League fixtures in succesion, to build up interest in League competition, before breaking the flow up with cup matches. For a whole month to go by with only one round of League fixtures played is no good at all.
So, the fixture list conundrum persists. More worrying, is the recent increase in contractual disputes around the movement of players. While often these disputes are unavoidable, I am disturbed when a club (Polokwane City, for example) is able to hold a player over the barrel (as they have done with Cole Alexander), sidelining him because he does not want to sign a longer-term contract.
I expect the League and the Players Union to be vigilant – we do not want a return to the dark ages, when clubs acted with impunity, infringing on players’ rights.
Quibbles aside, the League in tandem with its core sponsors M-net/multichoice and Absa is on a strong footing.
May it grow ever stronger.
Premier Soccer League is the trading name of the National Soccer League (NSL) Formed: 1996 (NSL formed in 1985) CONTACT INFO: Physical address: No 2 Winchester Road, Parktown 2193 Postal address: PO Box 15740, Doornfontein 2028 Tel: +27 11 715 2500 Fax: +27 11 482 9290 Email: email@example.com Website: www.psl.co.za Facebook: Official PSL Twitter: @Officialpsl