Can’t afford to pay for vanity projects
It cannot be disputed that top-flight sport, in particular that of popular codes, is a potentially lucrative source of tourism revenue for any city. This is why cities invest in and compete to host successful sporting outfits. However, such decisions cannot be made on a whim, nor can they be influenced by politics or any factors other than solid economic returns. This is why we support the sensible stance by Nelson Mandela Bay acting city manager Noxolo Nqwazi in her demand to carefully scrutinise the proposal by Free State football outfit Bloemfontein Celtic, who are seeking to be hosted in our city.
On Thursday we reported that Celtic chairman Max Tshabalala had met some of the metro’s politicians in September, when they discussed a possible deal that would either see the team play some of its games in the Bay or be anchored in the city.
There are many questions that arise from these talks. The first is the financial viability of having a second PSL team hosted in Mandela Bay, currently the home of Chippa United.
Most important is the financial health of Tshabalala’s team.
For months, Celtic had struggled to keep itself afloat and at times battled to honour payments to its players.
In its talks with the municipality, the team management has so far not been transparent about its troubled financial status, nor has it made a convincing case for why the metro should even consider looking in its direction.
For this reason, we believe there is no sensible reason to even consider the proposal.
The dire economic situation in our city and elsewhere demands a culture of frugality.
It also demands a stricter process of scrutiny of all those who want to do business with the city.
We cannot afford to spend money on vanity projects that appeal to a group of politicians, yet bring no solid returns to the broader paying public.