PSL’s small big club
United toying with idea of taking over Caledonian Stadium and reviving it
SUPERSPORT United are considering relocating from Lucas Moripe Stadium to a more compact venue to make the most of the support they draw.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori and their neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns struggle to fill the Atteridgeville venue that sits 28 900 people even though they both have enjoyed great success at this venue.
The back-to-back Nedbank Cup champions‚ United were worst affected and this has prompted them to look at other options to play in front of a packed and buzzing stadium.
The club’s chief executive‚ Stanley Matthews, said: “We are in talks with the city council about taking over Caledonian Stadium and reviving it.
“We feel that it could be a viable solution for us‚ a 6 000-7 000-seater stadium‚ close to the city hub where people can walk to the game.
“There is a cosmopolitan crowd and we wouldn’t be far from our base in Atteridgeville‚ Laudium‚ Soshanguve‚ Mabopane‚ GaRankuwa and surrounding areas.
“That’s what we are pursuing at the moment. If that fails‚ we are going to sit down again and think about our location as a club. It’s a sensitive discussion.
“We have turned down a number of offers to relocate that would have been financially good for the club but they would have taken us away from our existing and loyal crowd.
“If I had an extra 5 000 supporters coming to watch our games‚ I would have extra money to buy one or two players. I don’t have that at the moment,” he added. “If the fans are not speaking through the turnstiles‚ I can’t change the reality of where the club is. This is delicate.”
United’s possible move is unlikely to happen during the 2017-2018 campaign that starts next month.
The club will continue to go on numerous drives to bring fans to Lucas Moripe Stadium for the upcoming campaign.
“We’ve tried really hard in increasing the fan base and we’ve kind of accepted where we are now at around 5 500-6 000 level‚” said Matthews.
“That’s our level. To try to fill Lucas Moripe as a club‚ we won’t be able to do that. We don’t have the following. We’ve been at it over 15 years in and around Atteridgeville.
“We need to be more like [Bidvest] Wits‚ play in a 5 000‚ 6 000 or 10 000-seater stadium like most of the clubs in Africa.” —
‘ We feel that it could be a viable solution‚ a 6 000 to 7 000-seater