A player exodus is looming at Orlando Pirates because of the severe impact of the coronavirus. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
A player exodus is looming at Orlando Pirates because of the severe impact of the coronavirus. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Players to walk the plank as the coronavirus scuttles Pirates

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published May 9, 2020

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A player  exodus is looming at Orlando Pirates because of the severe impact of the coronavirus.

Different times calls for different measures. Floyd Mbele who is an administrative manager at the Buccaneers informed, Independent Media, that it won’t be business as usual after the coronavirus at Pirates.

“Yes, you can’t predict but there are certain lessons that you’ve got to learn. The way that you were doing businesses has got to change. You can’t say I’m going to keep the big squad because I anticipate that I’m going to play in Africa. It is not sustainable, there’s no money. I might have to keep a lean squad. With that and then comes a positive. If you look at the teams that have won leagues and cups throughout the years and in the past 15 years, they have kept smaller squads,” Mbele elaborated.

Alongside their sworn rivals, Kaizer Chiefs, the Buccaneers boasts most sponsors than any other team in the league. They also attract big numbers in their home matches. But the club is feeling the impact of the coronavirus.

“Absolutely, you got to do that (trim your squad). Considerations have to be made. Pirates are no different from any other business. It will depend also what will the PSL come back and say to us because we’ve got contracts and those contracts affect us. There’s a question of the grant from broadcasters that affects us. If we can’t deal with what we’re going to generate, then we have to consider all those options. It is not sustainable to keep a squad of 30 players. Financially, it doesn’t make sense to us anymore,” Mbele stated.

Josef Zinnbauer together with his technical team will have to sit down and map the way forward about who they want to keep.

“Let us get the involvement of the technical team. We have to change the financial model. We have to consider what is going to be the best for us going forward in terms of numbers and what is it that we are going to able to deal with while making sure that everybody there is ready to be able to go forward. We have to check those that have kept the small squads in and around the world and see how they are doing it. Those are conversations that we should be driving, not the transfer window market,” he added.

Players at the Buccaneers are still getting paid in full but that can change if the Premier Soccer League (PSL) doesn’t resume anytime soon.

“At the moment, it is too soon to tell if there will be salary cuts or not. Given that this situation affects everybody, it is one of those where soon rather than later, if we don’t return to normality. You must understand that running a club is a business. How do we get revenue, we get grants from the league. We get money from the sponsors. We also get gate takings. If this funding model does not work, then something is gonna give. What is important is that everybody needs to be consulted and kept informed about the developments,” Mbele articulated.

@minenhlecr7


Independent on Saturday

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