JOHANNESBURG – The contentious sale of newly promoted side Thanda Royal Zulu to AmaZulu has, in principle, been approved by the Premier Soccer League executive committee (Exco), an insider said on Thursday.
A deal between the two clubs had been in the works for several weeks, but needed the approval of the league’s decision-makers this week.
“In principle the sale will go through, but there are certain things that need to be ironed out such as the 14 days in which AmaZulu have to make the payment for the status they are buying. That is for the two parties to agree on, hence an official decision has not been made yet,” revealed a source privy to details of the complex transaction.
AmaZulu pushed to acquire the Thanda franchise after the owners of the Richards Bay outfit publicly stated that they would entertain the idea of selling because they were struggling to keep the club afloat season after season, even with a monthly grant that was set to increase due to their promotion to the Premier Division.
AmaZulu were relegated from the elite league two seasons ago and have failed in their attempts to get back into the Premier League. And this would not have been the first time they are trying to buy the status of another top-flight side, having done so immediately when they were relegated by pursuing Mpumalanga Black Aces.
The deal fell through, with the PSL executive committee arguing that the sale did not meet all the requirements. A year later, the Aces owners sold the club to businessman John Comitis, who relocated the outfit to the Mother City and renamed it Cape Town City.
AmaZulu, a club with a rich history and who has been relegated four times in the Premier League era, face a backlash from the municipality of uMhlathuze, who labelled the potential sale of Thanda as daylight robbery a few weeks ago.
The municipality argued it had invested taxpayers’ money in helping sustain the side with the day-to-day costs of running a football club from the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal.