Cape Town City owner John Comitis is concerned about the future of top-flight football in the Mother City. He is adamant that, unless the City of Cape Town comes to the party, the sport faces a bleak future.
Already, over the past few years, as Comitis was quick to point out, the Cape has regularly lost, through relegation or relocation, a number of clubs from the PSL and the NFD: Milano United, FC Cape Town, Cape Town All Stars, Vasco da Gama, Santos, Chippa United and, now, Ajax Cape Town (Ajax are, of course, still engaged in a court battle to retain their PSL status).
It’s not ideal for the region and Comitis is determined his fledgling club, established just two years ago, doesn’t suffer the same fate.
“If the City of Cape Town doesn’t step in to assist, then I don’t think top-flight football will be sustainable,” said Comitis.
“We believe we have a plan that can work, but we need the backing of the city. We will be engaging with the city in the next 10 days and, only after that, will we have a clearer picture with regard to the direction we take.
“I can say, though, that things are looking positive - we have plans that will be great for football and great for the city as a whole.”
In general, though, as Comitis looked back on the season just finished, he was quite satisfied.
“Towards the end of the campaign, the team started to again find its harmony and spirit,” he said.
“The camaraderie among the players returned and the rhythm and flow were in operation again.
“I also thought Benni (McCarthy) found his feet in the second half of the season, in that there was greater consistency in selection, especially as he got to know the players and knew better what his starting team was.
“The momentum we had at the end will, I’m sure, stand us in good stead for next season, when we want to give it a real go.”
Comitis said he already had a replacement for captain and central defender Robyn Johannes lined up (Johannes has joined Bidvest Wits).
He spoke about extending veteran Teko Modise’s contract for one more year – and he was chuffed with midfielder Thabo Nodada’s nomination for the MTN8 Best Player award and defender Taariq Fielies’ call-up to Bafana Bafana’s Cosafa Cup squad.
“We have a North African defender in mind to replace Johannes,” said the City boss.
“I am bust with that deal, which is why I haven’t, as yet, said much about it. He is a fitting replacement in our defence - and, within the next 30 days, I will also be making announcements on another three new signings.
“Teko is still an important player for us, so I took up the option of another year on his contract a few months ago already.
“There are a few other players whose contracts come to a close soon, so I will be having a conference call with Benni later this week, in which we will discuss which other players we wish to retain.
“Nodada is a good fit for the MTN8 prize – he is a special player and deserves the recognition for the way he has performed for us over the last season.
“As for Fielies, he stepped up; we backed him and he has now been rewarded with a Bafana call. We wish him the best with the national team.”