Why Sukazi bought a Premiership status

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TS Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi has explained why he opted to buy his way into South Africa’s top-flight rather than attempt to gain promotion the traditional way of being crowned champions of the second-tier league or winning the playoffs.

There’s a growing concern among football lovers that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is becoming somewhat of a ‘trade centre’ as two lower division sides recently used what Royal Eagles owner, Sibusiso Mpisane, once dubbed a “wheelchair” to get into the Premiership.

The PSL’s open market policy has seen a couple of teams making their way through to the top tier league South African football via the boardroom, with the latest club being Galaxy.

The Mpumalanga-based outfit acquired the Premiership status of Highlands Park, a month after Bidvest Wits were sold to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).

Despite finishing 13 points above the relegation zone in the GladAfrica Championship last season in 10th place, Sukazi believes his men have what it takes to dance with the big boys in the elite league under the leadership of Dan ‘Dance’ Malesela, who was recently re-appointed head coach a few months after resigning.

“We looked at it and having experienced the National First Division (NFD) in our first season and in that season we were novices and went on to win the Nedbank Cup and then we further on went on to campaign successfully in the CAF Confederation Cup as an NFD side, but then at the same time, you have the same team that cannot succeed in the NFD,” Sukazi told the SA Football Journalists’ Association (SAFJA).

“For us as TS Galaxy to be a mission possible, the NFD is a very difficult league, it has its own dynamics and unfortunately they proved to be very difficult for us so we thought instead of wasting 10, 15 to 20 years in the same league we better shoot for the stars while we can.

“We took that view in the back of experience of having seen other clubs that have been in the NFD for 14 to 15 years and ended up being relegated, such as Witbank Spurs, for example, so we didn’t want that for this beautiful brand, we wanted this brand to be amongst the biggest in the country and on the continent.

“Therefore, if we couldn’t do it through promotion, there was only one way to do it or one alternative which is to purchase an available franchise,” added Sukazi.

Sukazi went on to state that their famous 2019 Nedbank Cup triumph made him believe that his side is more than capable.

“Within 10 months of being in the professional ranks, we managed to achieve the impossible, winning the Nedbank Cup.

“And that was a huge motivation to say maybe then if you could do this within 10 months as a professional team then probably now this brand could as well be ready for the highest level of the game,” he concluded.

The 2020/21 campaign will kick off on October 17 with the MTN8 Cup competition‚ and then the DStv Premiership on October 24.

RELATED STORY: Women in football are marginalized – Sukazi

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi

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