Dear Siviwe Mpengesi,
I used your given name because I want to keep it real with you. It’s hard to tell a self-made millionaire how they should go about their business, especially when you have never had six digits in your bank account.
But I’ll go ahead and tell you how you should do your business when it comes to the running of Chippa United because it’s either you don’t have advisers or you don’t listen to them. Stop it!
The way you hire and fire coaches is bordering on the insane. This insanity reached fever-pitch in the 2012/13 season when you made six coaching changes in a single campaign.
It wasn’t surprising that the Chilli Boys were relegated that season because of the unstable environment you created with your trigger-happy tendencies.
Your team returned from the first division and you spoke about having learned your lesson. But how you have conducted your business since then says otherwise.
It’s a miracle that your team hasn’t been relegated again with you failing to have one coach manage your team for a single season.
Your longest-serving coach, Dan Malesela, was only in charge of a handful of games to earn that record before he was redeployed, fired, hired again and then fired after three matches.
At this rate, the ink on the contract that coaches sign with your team isn’t worth it because it’s not like that contract will be honoured anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you shouldn’t fire people who you feel aren’t doing their job.
But when you fire someone you must be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say that I gave him a fair chance and properly supported him before I decided to wield the axe.
Last season you sold your top players in the middle of the season, and then had the audacity to fire Malesela for failing to bring results when you didn’t give him enough material to bring those results.
After losing the core of the team, it was going to take some time to get some stability. But time is a foreign concept in your organisation.
You once again wielded the axe just three games into the season with a team that was still finding itself having made 15 signings.
Or is it 16 signings, since your club did sign Gift Motupa and then sold him to Bidvest Wits before he kicked a ball in a competitive match in your team’s colours?
The reason for this high turnover of coaches is probably because you don’t know what your club stands for.
In any league there are teams that compete for honours and invest heavily to achieve that. There are teams that punch above their weight with their pluckiness.
There are teams that are there to survive and there are teams that unearth rough diamonds, polish them and sell them for big bucks.
If you knew what your club stood for, that would show in the type of coach you hire, players you sign and what kind of support and mandate you give both.
If you continue doing business like you are doing you will not only lose money but also your status in the Premiership because you lost a lot of people’s respect a long time ago.
That’s sad because your story is remarkable and inspiring. I remember reading a moving piece by Rodney Reiners on how you rose to the top.
“I can assure you that conditions in the industry (as a security guard) at the time weren’t good. Life was tough,” you told him.
Despite that, you persevered and went from a security guard to owning your own security firm that worked in the Fifa Confederations Cup and the Fifa World Cup.
I am pretty sure in your life you dealt with a number of terrible bosses. The idea is that when you have worked with terrible bosses, you make it your mission to not turn into one.
I know that you pride yourself in how you treat your players and how well you pay them. You should afford your coaches the same courtesy, especially to give them respect.
You haven’t shown Dan Malesela and Roger Sikhakhane respect in how you have treated them.
How you are going about your business in running the Chilli Boys is not sustainable.
You can’t have this high turnover of coaches and expect positive results. You need to be patient, support the man you hire and more importantly treat him with respect if your club is to end up standing for something.
* Njabulo Ngidi is a football writer for New Frame.