Here is what Kaizer Chiefs need to do to bring their trophy drought to an end

Chiefs players were dejected after losing to SuperSport on Saturday.

Chiefs players were dejected after losing to SuperSport on Saturday. Picture: Samuel Shivambu BackpagePix

Published May 16, 2023


Cape Town - The Premiership season is almost finished, and South Africa's most storied football club Kaizer Chiefs have completed an eighth consecutive campaign without a trophy.

Chiefs fans around SA are sick to their teeth due to another rank-poor season which, after 11 league defeats, ranks as the club's worst campaign in the PSL era.

In January last year, Chiefs celebrated their 52nd anniversary, and chairperson Kaizer Motaung declared: “We are here to serve the people”.

Therein lies the root of Amakhosi problems. Rather than serve the people, Motaung has served his family with disastrous consequences. His sons Bobby and Kaizer Motaung Jr hold down key positions in the club, and they have done nothing to suggest they deserve to be there on merit.

On Saturday, coach Arthur Zwane could not escape the wrath of fans who pelted him with objects as he made his way to the dressing-room after Saturday’s match against SuperSport United, which ended in yet another defeat. These fans, acting like hooligans made a mockery of Chiefs' slogan “Love and Peace”.

This spilling over of anger has yet again sent out a message to Chiefs that it is time for drastic changes.

IOL Sport’s Herman Gibbs looks at five ways Chiefs can bring an end to their trophy drought.

Time to appoint a coach who has experience

Chiefs did not see the importance of appointing an experienced coach. Part of the problem is that the club do not have suitably experienced administrators in key positions to decide on a crucial appointment such as the coach. Perhaps Chiefs should take a leaf out of Mamelodi Sundowns' book and appoint a seasoned administrator like Dane Flemming Berg. He oversees the club's administration from top to bottom. The other advantage of appointing an experienced coach is that there will be less interference in the duties of the coach. A few seasons back, coaches like Gavin Hunt and Ernst Middendorp, were often hamstrung by decisions made for them by club administrators.

Appoint administrators who are experienced and have a track record of excellence

In the early days of the PSL, unfashionable clubs like Manning Rangers and Santos won league and Cup titles. These clubs were run on a shoestring budget and hardly had players in the SA national team. However, they had experienced hands like Afzal Khan (team manager) and Gordon Igesund (coach) who guided them to great success. They knew what was required for them to be successful and their club owners did not interfere in their duties.

Revisit the club's recruitment policy

Several former Chiefs players have in recent months said that many of the players in the current squad are not up to standard. Others have pointed out that some of the results were misleading because Chiefs benefited from regular penalties and red cards to opposition players. Victories on the back of these advantages sometimes disguised the average performances of players. Instead of the coaching staff becoming aware of this, they persisted with the same players because the team was winning. Not too long ago, Chiefs did not have a player in the Bafana Bafana squad and that surely should have been an eye-opener for the club.

Players must know the responsibility of playing for Chiefs

At Saturday's post-match TV interview, Zwane blasted his players for going through the motions and giving the ball away cheaply. He added that the players did not show enough fight and made the opposition look good. Before Zwane's comments on Saturday, former stalwarts had questioned players' professionalism because there seemed a lack of commitment from start to finish in matches.

Time for an indaba of former coaches, administrators, and players

Chiefs will be well to do what Safa did when they looked to appoint a coach to succeed Molefi Ntseki in May 2021. They called in former players, administrators and experienced officials to make a call on the new coach. This is how Hugo Broos was appointed. Motaung could invite former players (Luca Radebe, Neil Tovey and Shane McGregor), former coaches (Muhsin Ertugral and Farouk Khan) and former administrators to a think tank where the brains trust can come up with a strategy to end their trophy drought.