Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala in favour of pre-season tours
Posted: 2 June 2018 Time: 16:00
Kaizer Chiefs stalwart Siphiwe Tshabalala has called on sponsors and the club to follow the growing trend of taking pre-season friendlies to their distant fans.
In modern times, it has become popular for big clubs across Europe to go on pre-season tours in foreign countries, in order to grow the reach of the brand as well as cater to their distant supporters.
Recent European trends have seen internationally-supported clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and even Bayern Munich take their pre-season to China and America.
Recently, Barca visited South Africa to play Mamelodi Sundowns in what could be described as a ‘post-season’ friendly, but the occasion drew a massive crowd to the FNB Stadium nonetheless.
Meanwhile, another major local pre-season friendly has been added on the calendar, with the Shell Helix Ultra Cup, which is to be contested between Chiefs and Sundowns at the Calabash, having recently been launched.
‘Shabba’ believes a club of Amakhosi’s magnitude should also be looking at growing the brand elsewhere during pre-season growth in future, with a multitude of fans unable to watch the team in their home fixtures in Johannesburg.
“I think it’s also important to take the game to the people and travel. There are those fans out there who would love to come to Jo’burg to watch the team play, but they can’t afford it because some are far away and some are not even in South Africa,” said Tshabalala.
“It would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to see their favourite teams play in their backyard. We might be a team from South Africa, but we are a team that belongs to people as far as Nigeria and so forth – there’s fans everywhere.
“The last time when we went to Senegal, there was someone wearing a Chiefs shirt. Those things we don’t take for granted, we appreciate it. If there is an opportunity to travel, why not go there and show our love and appreciation to the people as well?”