Cape Town - Cape Town will soon have another PSL club. It won’t happen next season, but will, in all likelihood, take place the season thereafter.
The situation is the result of top football administrator and all-round business mover-and-shaker John Comitis purchasing the top-flight franchise of Mpumalanga Black Aces.
Speculation about the deal has been doing the rounds in recent weeks. Comitis is currently in New York, where he is attending the graduation of his son as well as taking in the sights and sounds of the “Big Apple”. He is only due to return to South Africa in two weeks’ time.
But Comitis, who is also an executive member of the PSL, sent a message at the weekend confirming the sale.
“Yes, I have purchased the club (Black Aces). There are no final decisions yet as to what I will do. I have much to consider and will only do so on my return to the country. The PSL has already sanctioned the deal,” said Comitis.
Details of the sale were revealed to club bosses at last week’s PSL executive committee meeting.
Black Aces come off their best-ever campaign in the PSL, finishing in fourth on the standings. Despite this, the previous owners, brothers Mario and George Morfou, have apparently been struggling with the financial cost of running a top-flight club, hence their decision to accept Comitis’ offer.
The new club cannot, however, be immediately moved to the Mother City. According to PSL rules, when such a deal is concluded, the new franchise has to remain where it is based for one season.
After that, the new owners are free to move the club wherever they want.
Comitis, a former deadly striker with Wits, Hellenic and Cape Town Spurs, was one of the founder members of the city’s sole PSL team, Ajax Cape Town, after his then-club, Spurs, merged with Seven Stars in 1999.
When Stars boss Rob Moore left a few years later to pursue interests overseas, the Comitis brothers, John and George, and the Efstathiou brothers – Ari, Alexi and Nick – continued at the helm of Ajax. But there was a falling out, which led to many ugly boardroom encounters, and the Comitis brothers decided, in July 2013, to sell their shares to the Efstathious to ensure their feud didn’t cripple the club.
Now with the purchase of Black Aces Comitis, no doubt, wants to rival his former club Ajax, especially when, as expected, he eventually relocates the club to the Cape.
A football man through and through, he has always been passionate about football in the Mother City. In a recent interview Comitis said: “There are five NFD clubs and one PSL club in the Cape. To have a healthy football environment in the city, it’s imperative that we have another one or two at the highest level.
“It’s a necessity for the abundance of talented young Cape players to have something to aim at. The more PSL clubs we have, the more opportunities there are for youngsters to play in the top flight, and thereby have the chance to make it in Europe.”
While, recently, the five Cape NFD clubs have waged a losing battle in their quest to be promoted to the PSL, Comitis has now put his money where his mouth is. He is back in the PSL – and, soon, Cape Town will have more than just Ajax to cheer in the top flight.