EXCLUSIVE: Tim Sukazi feels Bloemfontein Celtic supporters' pain
DURBAN - The talk of the town right now in football is Tim Sukazi acquiring Bloemfontein Celtic's Absa Premiership status. While his team, TS Galaxy are still campaigning in GladAfrica Championship, Sukazi has grand plans for Celtic.
Sukazi spoke with IOL Sport soccer scribe, Minenhle Mkhize about his future plans..
Minenhle Mkhize: Tim, is true that you have agreed on principle to buy the status of Bloem Celtic?
Tim Sukazi: It is true now, we will be heading for the approval of the PSL. We will then apply for the NSL executive committee approval. Once, it's approved then the executive committee, everything will be completed. To be honest, we agreed around March. The lockdown messed up everything.
MM: Was it easy to convince Celtic to enter in to negotiations?
TS: Very much so, because we once spoke last year about this but there was no time. This time around there's been time. They also have their own challenges as you know. They've always had them for a few years now.
MM: If the deal does go through what will happen to Celtic players?
TS: How the transaction will work, all the contracted players of Bloemfontein Celtic, they will come on board as it is. We can work everything from here. Obviously, we don't want a squad of 60 players. We've got our own players who are good enough, as we all know, for this level. So, we will have to find a solution. With time, we will have to measure the two team nicely.
MM: Is goal is to move to Mpumalanga if the deal does pass?
TS: That is correct. People of Mpumalanga don't have a PSL team. They deserve one and Galaxy will be the one.
MM: Where does this leave Mabhuti Khenyeza, your head coach?
TS: South Africa is lucky to have a coach like Mabhuti Khenyeza. That I can say without any fear of contradiction. I'm not too concerned about the coaching front. Obviously we will have to look at the technical team of Celtic and then put a formidable team together. It is amazing, maybe one can come up with a combination. I don't know, but I haven't thought through that. Mabhuti is the head coach of TS Galaxy in this division and should we be in the PSL, he will be the head coach. There's no reason to change that. He understands our environment and how we operate. He understands me as person.
MM: And Lehlohonolo Seema?
TS: Seema has done a fantastic job for Celtic. I think, he could be a valuable addition as well. Seema and the whole technical team of Celtic. I really appreciate that and one will have to reconsider our technical team and mind you we will be quite broader, there will be even MDC. There will be a whole lot of things involved. So far is Mabhuti is concerned, he is ahead coach now and in to the future. That is definite and I have no doubt.
MM: What happens now to your GladAfrica status now if you do successfully acquire the PSL status of Celtic? I heard that African Warriors wants to have your GladAfrica Championship status.
TS: We haven't spoken to any person at African Warriors regarding our GladAfrica Championship status if the deal does go through. However, once we go through with our Celtic acquisition, we will have to dispose it on our own. Definitely, that will happen. No doubt about it. It is a less of a headache or challenge then acquiring Celtic's status. My priority and focuses are now more on a PSL status.
MM: Celtic have been going through turbulent times financially, aren't afraid that might affects your pursuit of buying the club?
TS: I prefer that Celtic to speaks up about the debt part. Thina (we), what we have to do is to acquire the status and all personnel so to speak. As I'm speaking to you, it is either they are resolving their debt now, with or without the acquisition. Their debts have to be resolved one way or another. Whether they sell the status or they don't sell.
MM: The passionate supporters of Celtic, won't really want to hear such news bra Tim.
MM: The truth is that I really care about the supporters of Bloem Celtic. I feel their pain being faced with the prospect of losing a team. I have been a long- time admirer of Bloem Celtic supporters. I still want to see them being a bigger part of football in one way or another. So, therefore, once all is done and dusted, I'll have to find ways and means to speak to them and make sure that they are not lost to the game.
I don't know what would that be, but what I can assure you and them is that they will not be lost to the game. They will still be part of the game. Never mind having lost a club. We want to retain them. How will that pen out, I'm not sure. Obviously that requires consultation with them. We cannot as football people afford to lose the supporters of Bloem Celtic.
MM: Why buy a team bra Tim, because you've shown that you can win cups?
TS: I still maintain a view that it's much cheaper for us to buy a PSL status than running an marathon in GladAfrica. Unless someone can tell me that we are guaranteed promotion, then I wouldn't but a status. We will go for that and get promoted. But having been in NFD, you can be locked there for many years and end up nowhere.
For an example, clubs like Witbank Spurs, they have been there for 14 years and now they are relegated. They are no more. Time and again they were closed. They were about to be promoted and challenging for top three. We don't want to be that. If the rule was that you stay there for three years and get promotion and then I'll do it. It is better to jump ship while you can. It can take longer. I can't afford to delay our progression. This is a project that belongs to the PSL.