Lesufi must come clean
THE proposed transaction between Moroka Swallows and Free State Stars is turning out to be one big mess.
Exactly a week ago, both parties were supposed to receive feedback from the Premier Soccer League to say if their proposal to trade places had been accepted.
Suddenly, this was postponed to Wednesday, and today we are set to hear if the deal is still on. This doesn’t project a good image for the PSL, as chairman Irvin Khoza admitted this week.
We remain strongly opposed to monied investors coming in to buy domestic teams at the drop of a hat.
Last week, in this very space, we urged the PSL to put a halt to this disturbing practice. While the PSL has little choice as club owners run out of cash and opt out, the league’s authorities should make sure the deal is above board, we said.
It seems the league took note of our counsel, as Khoza revealed he had demanded the PSL be furnished with the identity of Swallows’ new investors or the transaction would not materialise.
This is very important, because SA football cannot afford to go back to the era of lack of transparency when it has made so many strides.
We agree with Khoza that Panyaza Lesufi, the man who has been driving the transaction, must reveal the people behind this consortium.
Surely, revealing the sources of the money shouldn’t be a difficult ask for Lesufi.
But his behaviour this week has, at best, been suspect and raised doubts whether these investors exist.
He has given us the runaround as we posed questions
– for instance, some Swallows players contradicted his assertion they had received back pay and salaries owed to them.
Lesufi must come clean on this. He cannot expect to keep this “consortium” hidden forever. We have to know who they are. Otherwise the PSL should say to him: No deal!