JOHANNESBURG - “Kaizer Chiefs ready after transfer window”. This was the headline on a press statement from the Glamour Boys barely 24-hours after deadline day at the Premier Soccer League offices last week. How the mighty have fallen.
That Chiefs had to prepare a lengthy essay to justify their not so clever business in that window period proves nobody at Naturena is truly convinced that coach Steve Komphela has been armed with enough heavy artillery to win anything this season.
Not even lowly Baroka FC, who have in fact probably been slightly more meticulous than the ‘Mighty’ Amakhosi in their recruitment to avoid a repeat of the previous campaign - where they managed to retain their PSL status after winning the play-offs - felt the need to tell the media they were “ready after the transfer window”.
To turn the days’ events into even more of a PR disaster, Bobby Motaung - the Chiefs football manager and the man usually at the forefront when it comes to signing players at the club - waited until he was live on air to tell Power FM that he’d been given a different agenda when approached for a radio interview earlier in the week.
Seems there was a mix-up, Motaung said, arguing that he was in mourning following the sudden death of goalkeeper coach Alexandre Revoredo, and that he was not willing to discuss anything except paying tribute to the Brazilian.
The radio interviewer then attempted to explain to Motaung that a clear communication, with an idea of what questions Motaung would have to answer, had been sent to the Chiefs media department.
Bobby Motaung is clever, he is making all these last minute bids for quality players so that fans can think he tried but time was limited 😅 pic.twitter.com/GE66gYmsl1
As you would have guessed, the Chiefs boss simply dismissed him, turning the whole thing into a farce. It is possible that the request to speak to Motaung had been set up a few days before, given how the Glamour Boys have dominated the headlines for a lack of quality signings in the build-up to the start of the season and even during the final days of the transfer window.
Also, Chiefs often require early notification for interview requests, so Motaung wasn’t ambushed. For a couple of hours, the club was being applauded for wanting to answer any questions from their supporters about what they feel is a disaster waiting to strike.
Teenage Hadebe, Philani Zulu, Bhongolwethu Jayiya and Dumisani Zuma are the four major recruits at Chiefs this season, with two or so players promoted from the club’s development team.
Fans are up in arms, and you can understand why if you consider the fact that Hadebe is relatively unknown, even though those who have watched him play only have rave reviews.
Zulu hardly set the scene alight at Maritzburg United, Jayiya was a squad player at Cape Town City and so, too, was Zuma, who is a bright prospect, but has yet to reach his full potential.
Given that Amakhosi have not won any silverware in the two seasons that Steve Komphela has been the coach - after all, he replaced Stuart Baxter, who had managed to win two Premier League titles in three years - it is safe to say Chiefs do not need bright prospects, but proven quality players instead.
The statement on the morning of September 1, a few hours before Bafana Bafana took on Cape Verde away in a 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Nacional in Praia, had already rubbed club supporters up the wrong way.
And Motaung could have done some damage control on Power FM by trying to explain the logic behind the transfer policy. What he has done is meekly pass the buck to beleaguered Komphela.