'PSL clubs can't match Sundowns financially'


Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler has revealed what his side needs to do in order to close the gap on DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns next season.

The Citizens brought their 2021/22 campaign to an end on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat to domestic rivals Stellenbosch FC but ended the weekend with their claim to second spot in the league standings still intact.

Eric Tinkler's side could slip down the table if Royal AM or Orlando Pirates win all of their respective remaining matches in hand but find themselves in a promising position to qualify for either the CAF Champions League or CAF Confederation Cup next season.

Despite the incredible strides made in Cape Town this season, however, the club still found itself a mammoth 13 points adrift of champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who still have a match against the aforementioned Royal AM to play.

The sheer gulf in class between Sundowns and the rest of the chasing back has been a topic of conversation over the last few years, with Masandawana having won each of the last five league titles, and Tinkler believes a lot is needed to close the gap.

"There is a lot [needed] for all the clubs to close the gap on Sundowns because we can't match them financially," he said. "They can attract all the best players, and with the type of salaries those players are earning there, no other club can match that.

"A lot of times you will have situations, which you see there, where you have players who don't get a lot of game time but you can't blame them. You can't blame the players if they are going to get paid the type of money that is going to secure their futures and the futures of their families.

"So, it is difficult for us as a club to be able to compete at that level. What we do know is that on the field, we will look to compete with tenacity and determination. That we can do. There's a small gap between the players who are at Sundowns, in terms of their technical qualities, versus the ones we have.

"It all depends on how much we want it next season and how much we are prepared to push when we play a big team like Sundowns. But, that's not where you win the league. We can sit back and say we did well against Sundowns [this season] but the fact of the matter is...

"...If you go back, in the first half of the season we drew away to Gallants and Baroka and if you truly want to be title contenders, those cannot be draws.

"You have to turn those draws into wins and I think that's what we've got to look at ourselves, and say to ourselves that if we can do that, then points-wise we can actually compete with them. So it's those areas that we need to improve on."