COMMENT: Why The Kaizer Chiefs board can't afford to sack Arthur Zwane

Arthur Zwane, coach of Kaizer Chiefs during the 2023 Nedbank Cup Semi Final match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg

The Kaizer Chiefs board will have much deliberating to do on the future of coach Arthur Zwane. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published May 19, 2023


Johannesburg - The 2022/23 campaign is set for another displeasing conclusion for Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs as their long-standing trophy drought rolls towards its ninth year.

The decision-makers at the mighty Amakhosi remain tight-lipped about any major reconstructions of the playing personnel or the technical team. This comes as tensions between coach Arthur Zwane and a section of the club’s supporters reached fever pitch last weekend.

Zwane, a son of the Glamour Boys having represented the club as a player and worked in the development ranks as a coach, required the help of the South African Police Services to escape an attack from the club’s fans after their last match.

The recent clash between Zwane and fans has seen calls for his sacking grow. However, the Amakhosi board of directors may have more to lose than gain if they are to move in that direction.

For decades Chiefs have enjoyed the biggest fanbase in South Africa, a number that grew exponentially with their on-field success.

The accumulation of trophies at Naturena earned the management of the club huge plaudits and built trust between the club and its most powerful tool, the supporters.

The removal or stepping aside of Zwane could lead to harsh questions being aimed towards the club’s decision-makers rather than the technical team and players.

Stuart Baxter, Gavin Hunt, and most recently Ernst Middendorp, all vastly different coaches, have all occupied the hottest seat in the country in the last five years and were dismissed in an effort to “rebuild a Kaizer Chiefs fitting of the success of the past with the requisite style of play”.

The potential dismissal of Zwane not only suggests the Motaungs are perplexed by their project but also that they are unsure about what kind of coach they wish to have at the helm to lead the rebuild.

Zwane recently stated that upon his assessment, his debut campaign as head coach is not as bad as some might suggest, considering all the factors he's had to both introduce and endure.

“We’ve had our ups and downs. We had moments where we were happy because we saw things coming but we also had moments that gave us sleepless nights just in terms of getting the results,” he said.

“So it’s been a learning season but a season that one can say from a new squad and new technical team, it wasn’t bad at all and we’re looking forward to improving things.”

The Chiefs board could draw on similar sentiments with Zwane, but remain vigilant of potential explosions as seen in the past with the club's fanbase.


IOL Sport

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