PSL newcomers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila are running the risk of ending up going down the drain as one of the clubs whose lifespan in the top tier of South African football lasted just a single season. With just over a third of the season played to date it has become obvious that TTM have troubles running deeper than they can try to hide and indications are that they might just become another Mother City.
All the chaos that has been spoken of as defining the club’s operations has become evident on the field and the cracks of the financial issues at the club are written all over the players’ faces on the field. If players are not being paid their dues on the agreed dates in full then it will keep showing on the field – that part cannot be hidden at all regardless of how much the volume of denial by the club in public.
TTM now have their backs on the ropes and one point from the last 15 available is an indication that they are going nowhere slowly. Instead of being inspirational, their coach Joel Masutha has the look of a defeated man. Though they still have another 18 games to play, it is not looking encouraging with their name already being mentioned as a relegated club.
Clubs that just come into the PSL to ‘while up time’ is nothing new and have been seen before. Remember Crystal Brains who ended up as Michau Warriors? Following their promotion from the first division in 1995, Crystal Brains played in the Coca-Cola Challenge – a league played to patch up the gap created by domestic football moving from a full calendar year to the August-May format.
Then in the first season of the PSL they were sold and renamed Warriors after which they relocated to Port Elizabeth where their grave was dug. They never returned to the PSL. Then there was Mother City, which was born after Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs merged to form Ajax Cape Town with the remaining status then sold to form this new club.
The new club came into existence two weeks before the start of the season after a consortium with no previous football experience at professional level paid R3.8-million for the franchise. Not surprising they became a circus with as many as 45 players used by whoever sat on the bench be it a coach, administrator, or a committee for the day. Nine coaching changes were made throughout that single season in which they didn’t pick up any points in all the second half, ending on a mere 10 points from 34 games.
Bay United and Vasco da Gama also lasted just a season in the PSL, but their failure wasn’t down to how they were run, they were just not good enough.