CAPE TOWN – Once known as Silver Stars, Platinum Stars were for several years a leading light in the Premiership, but now look set to disappear off the South African soccer map.
Stars, also known as Dikwena, and coached by Roger De Sa, were relegated to the National First Division (NFD) after losing out in the play-offs last month.
But even before their demotion, there were reports since late last year that the Rustenburg-based club were set to sell their franchise to De Sa and a consortium of un-named businessmen. It is believed this deal went through early in 2018.
Two questions that remained - which division would the new team play in, and where would they be based?
De Sa, who spent several years coaching in Cape Town, always had a preference for the Mother City, and several reports this week have stated that Stellenbosch, just outside of Cape Town, will be the home of the new club, which is to be known as Cape Umoya United.
This spells an end to top-flight football in the North West Province, Platinum Stars having graced the Premiership since 2003 (in their first four seasons they were still known as HP Silver Stars), during which time they twice finished as runners-up in the league, as well as winning three major cup competitions.
It will also leave the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, a World Cup 2010 venue, with no real purpose.
There has not yet been any official word on the change of ownership from the new club, De Sa, or from the Premier Soccer League.
But Platinum Stars spokesman Tebogo Mochadibane did shed some more light on the matter in an interview with KickOff.
"Yes, it's not hearsay, the team is relocating to Cape Town, it's true. And they have changed the name to Cape Umoya United. It's no longer Platinum Stars, " he said.
"That process is still on, I don't think all of the staff [will relocate]. Because you must remember you don't need the whole backroom staff in the NFD like you do in the PSL set-up.
"I think there will be negotiations with the players, there will be those who will travel with the team. And you must remember there are players who already had pre-contracts with other teams, so they wouldn't be travelling to Cape Town with the team."
Cape Town currently has Ubuntu Cape Town (they bought the franchise of FC Cape Town a year ago), and Stellenbosch FC (previously Vasco da Gama) playing in the NFD.
Cape Town All Stars, meanwhile, sold their licence to players' agent Tim Sukazi, who is moving the club to Mpumalanga. Another former Cape NFD outfit, Milano United, sold their status to Limpopo side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila last season.
Ajax Cape Town, where De Sa previously coached, could also be in the NFD next season if they fail to win their appeal over the Tendai Ndoro points deduction matter.
African News Agency (ANA)