Written by Lwando Mhobo
The Premier Soccer League’s worst kept secret has officially been confirmed as Bloemfontein Celtic Premier Soccer League status has been acquired by Shauwn Mkhize’s Royal AM.
The coup de grâce moment for citizens of Mangaung as well as fans of the club was delivered during a televised press conference conducted by the chairperson of the Premier Soccer League Dr Irvin Khoza,CEO of the Premier Soccer League Mato Madlala as well as Premier Soccer League legal counsel Michael Murphy.
The Iron Duke explained that the acquisition of Bloemfontein Celtic’s PSL status was a difficult sale to approve as they deliberated on the final verdict for 3 days since the bid to buy was received.
The PSL chairman added that the difficulty to approve the sale was intensified by the matter of relocation from Free State to Kwa-Zulu Natal, lamenting the delay for approval was a result of ensuring that all affected stakeholders’ rights were protected and that the sale would be a seamless one.
Dr. Khoza further explained that when a PSL status is sold,the first preference is always given to a local buyer – to preserve the heritage of the club being sold – however a counter-offer/bid from a local buyer was never received. It left them no choice but to approve Royal AM’s bid with the PSL scheduled to commence this weekend.
Failure to approve the sale would have resulted in a breach of contracts with sponsors if the league started with 15 teams as opposed to 16.
Following the approval of the sale,Royal AM will now face Moroka Swallows in their season opener this Sunday,22 August 2021 at Dobsonville Stadium kick off being at 15h00 (CAT).
It is reported that the players who were under Bloemfontein Celtic and Royal AM,whose GladAfrica Championship status was sold to Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC,will all undergo trials before the final roster for the season is submitted.
It was indeed a sad day for the fans of the Siwele cohort as the news of the sale approval spread and most fans took to social media to express their grief & disappointment while others reminisced about all the great memories that they shared together with the club.
It will be a tough one to take for the people of Mangaung. The city of Roses has lost its sense of pride,the one thing in their lives that reignited their hope every single matchday win-draw or lose,a glue that united everyone from all walks of life,a beacon of hope & strength.
O le Sele Sani
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