The Absa Premiership is a bit crazy this season – Baroka FC are top of the log, and the defending champions Bidvest Wits have found a permanent home at the foot of the table.
What’s even more absurd is the fact that the gap between the early pacesetters (if you can call Baroka that) and the basement-dwellers is a mere 10 points.
You might only find those kinds of stats in the Azerbaijan league.
This is serious cause for concern, especially for a product that compares itself to the best in the business as far as revenue goes.
Yes, the numbers back the PSL as possibly the best in Africa when you count the rands and cents, but my goodness, the football so far this season has been awful, to say the least.
I have twice fallen asleep on my couch watching one of those Sunday afternoon matches, and trust me, I don’t think it had anything to do with stuffing my face with my wife’s seven-colour lunch dish shortly after church.
One of those games was the Telkom Knockout semi-final clash between Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic, which prolonged my nap on the sofa because it went all the way to penalties.
I literally woke up because commentator Thabiso Tema was screaming at the top of his lungs because it was finally all over. Poor guy had to sit through it and try to stay awake. What is going on in the PSL this season?
Well, the scheduling of the fixtures should most certainly be one of the talking points. The clubs have probably been affected by the stop-start programme, which has evidently hurt their momentum.
I agree that they should take some responsibility for not being up for it when they are in fact on the pitch, like we witnessed at the weekend when there was just one winner from seven league matches… Unbelievable.
But how can clubs pick up form when they have already spent more than a month kicking their heels watching international football and cup games even before their Premiership campaign has hit the halfway mark?
How do you expect Baroka to break away from their rivals when they have played two league matches in one month? The Fifa international break dates are there long before the fixtures for the entire season are publicly released, so plan around it.
The PSL’s programming has been atrocious since general manager Derek Blanckensee parted company with the league in September last year. His absence is so evident.
We are set for the lowest points tally yet for the champions this season, unless things improve – drastically at that – following the brief Christmas recess.
There won’t be any interference from international football until March, so there won’t be any excuse from the clubs as to why we can’t see any change in the quality of football dished out, but the league has to step up to the plate.
The Nedbank Cup remains the only domestic cup competition still to be played, and there is adequate time to roll out the fixtures and balance that with the league programme.
Next year’s Caf competitions could still be a stumbling block, however, as Africa’s football governing body is yet to provide clarity on whether the changes to the calendaring of the upcoming tournaments – Champions League and Confederation Cup – have officially been implemented.
Buckle up, this could be the PSL’s most boring season yet.