Maritzburg United boss Farook Kadodia has revealed that the club’s dire financial constraints might lead to them selling the club.
Kadodia told The Witness that the directors of the club have carried the burden of keeping the club afloat for far too long.
He claimed the club has incurred debt and directors are nervous about its financial state.
“Supporters not being allowed at matches cut us some small commercial deals we used to enjoy from time to time, but they were really nothing compared to the gate-takings and municipal support we lost,” said Kadodia.
“The sale of Rushine de Reuck to Mamelodi Sundowns during the course of the season did help financially, but it’s a pity Msunduzi Municipality has financial constraints, while cities like Durban, Nelspruit and Gqeberha are still able to support the likes of AmaZulu, Golden Arrows, Royal AM, TS Galaxy and Chippa United,” added Kadodia.
Though the club’s income has dropped badly, the directors have managed to keep the players’ salaries, which is the biggest expense in running a football club.
“Our income dropped badly, but not players’ salaries, which is the biggest expense for any club. We understand the financial constraints of the Municipality, but we believe we have contributed to social cohesion in the city.
“If we have to leave, you probably won’t smell another PSL club in Maritzburg,” argued Kadodia.
The club is in dire need of extra financial muscle in order to avoid having to sell their franchise. Kadodia says the debt stands at R9-million.
“It is in the form of loans the directors have had to make to the club to stay afloat in the Premier Soccer League. We have a huge challenge on our hands to keep the club running without losing more money.
“We hope the PSL’s monthly grant will go up next season, after it didn’t over the past two seasons.
“We need to raise income, or else we really have to entertain offers for the franchise, or need to consider selling matches to other municipalities if that opportunity comes again.
“You could say the directors have carried the burden of keeping the club afloat for about 11 years in total, if you take out the six years we enjoyed support from the council, because we have not had any title sponsors at the club.”
Kadodia added: “There have been times when we opened ourselves into bringing in new investors by offering shares in the club, but those came to nothing because interested people generally felt there was not enough return on investment for them, after taking everything into account.”
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter