Changes – Some Good, Some Bad


Lowest point was hit when Stan Matthews’ departure from the PSL was confirmed. Here, for the first time, we had a man running the League who put football first, before marketing, sponsorship deals and the accompanying razzmatazz.

Not that a league can survive without sponsors, nor that marketing one’s product is a bad thing, but what attracted me to Matthews as CEO of the PSL is that he appeared to put the quality of the product first.

He saw the need to improve on the standard of play, and on the standard of players. He saw the need for a reserve league, for example, as more urgent and important than some of his predecessors did.

It was he, too, while running SuperSport United, that championed the Compliance Manual that now exists as an effort to bring some order and ‘professionalism’ to the way Premiership clubs go about their daily business.

So that’s a bad change.

Another bad change, for me, is the departure of Roger de Sa from Bidvest Wits. I fear that, with him, will go the club’s ethos of putting the development of young talent high on their list of priorities.

As much as I welcome Bidvest’s newfound willingness to splash cash on decent signings; as much as I applaud the appointment of one of football’s best administrators in Jose Ferreira; and as much as I admire the astute signings he has made, I fail to see why De Sa was not given the opportunity to coach a more expensively assembled squad.

No disrespect intended to new coach Antonio Lopez Habas, but I’m sure De Sa’s young teams would have finished each season stronger than they did had he been able to select seasoned players of the calibre of Tinashe Nengomasha, Aaron Mokoena and Matthew Pattison.

The biggest, and by far the best change we have seen these past few months, is the appointment of Gordon Igesund as national coach. And when the decision to appoint him is greeted with such widespread enthusiasm, I really have no need to add anything more on the matter except to say that Safa’s decision was long overdue.

Richard Maguire