Royal AM players warming up during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match against Cape Town City. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Royal AM players warming up during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match against Cape Town City. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Royal AM endure a nightmarish start to life in the top-flight

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - New kids on the block Royal AM, are enduring a nightmarish start to life in the top-flight following reports of disorganisation in their camps since they acquired the status of Bloemfontein Celtic - a week before the start of the domestic season.

After failing to gain automatic promotion to the elite league through the court of law in June, Royal AM opted to buy their way to top-flight: acquiring the status of financially-threatened side Celtic – a few days before the start of the term.

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That business transaction meant that Royal AM bargained everything that Celtic owned, including the players and technical team. And that's why they renamed the club and relocated it to their base in Pietermaritzburg in the last few weeks.

However, according to online publication FarPostZa on Thursday, club president Shauwn Mkhize is battling to keep up with the new changes, unlike when the team was still campaigning in the GladAfrica Championship last season.

“Royal AM players refused to train this morning. More than 15 players have not been paid. Some players were paid half salaries. They were promised apartments, but nothing. Families they left in Bloem can't join them now,” FarPostZa reported.

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“Four players have to share a room at the clubhouse in Pietermaritzburg. Coaches are also sharing with players. There are 62 players in total. The chairlady Shauwn Mkhize will have a meeting with the players today (on Thursday) in Durban.”

This must all but feel like a déjà vu for the former Celtic players, given the fact that they endured an almost identical treatment with their former employers in the past. However, they'll be hopeful things can still turn out for the best in the next few weeks.

Royal AM have battled in their two matches since the commencement of the new campaign, losing both games to Swallows FC and Cape Town City respectively. But they’d be eager to get their house in order during the ongoing FIFA break.

IOL Sport

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