Bloemfontein will never be the same


The Free State province has been left reeling with shock and disappointment at the imminent sale of Bloemfontein Celtic.

Phunya Sele Sele has reportedly been sold to Durban-based businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, and is set to be renamed Royal AM.

READ | Royal AM set for DStv Prem move?

The 52-year history of the club is set to end when the PSL make an official announcement in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Owner Max Tshabalala has reportedly sold the Mangaung-based side for a fee of R50 million to 'MaMkhize'.

The sale, though, has been met with disapproval, with club fans and former players voicing their displeasure.

"This is very sad. It's a sad moment for people of Bloemfontein," says former midfielder, Lebogang Mothibantwa.

"The whole province has been affected by this sad news, Bloemfontein will never be the same again.

"We're not only talking about football but also the economy of the province.

"Some people's survival depended on matchdays. I hope someone someday will reinstate this team."

Siwelele's most popular female fan, Mamello Makha was hoping PSL chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza would block the sale.

"I am disappointed and shattered," an emotional Makha said. I never believed the news when it started circulating on Friday.

"I was hoping the news wasn't true, but after the announcement at a PSL press conference, it started to sink in that Bloemfontein Celtic is no more.

"I was hoping that the Irvin Khoza would announce the sale is a lie.

"The sale of Celtics will affect not only football but also the economy in the Free State.

"Bloemfontein Celtic was our lifestyle. There is no other entertainment in Bloemfontein except Celtic.

"How are we going to survive now without Celtics? We always thought that someone would buy the club and keep it in the Free State province.

The Free State government has failed us."

Meanwhile the club's players confirmed they were still in the dark regarding the sale as recently as over the weekend.

It has been reported that the club hierarchy is set to hold a meeting with the squad on Monday.

Celtic get their DStv Premiership campaign under way with a trip to Johannesburg to face Swallows FC at the Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

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