Khoza should've held on to talented Rantie
THE 2012-13 Premier Soccer League season is finally upon us.
The new campaign officially kicks off tomorrow night with an MTN Top 8 match-up between defending champions Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium.
The encounter will see the Buccaneers begin life without trusty striker Tokelo Rantie, who has returned to Sweden.
Reason, Pirates could not "afford" a R2-million asking price from Swedish lower division side IFK Hassleholm, a team which the young forward was loaned from last season.
Hassleholm were ready to grant Rantie a permanent move to Mayfair but Bucs were apparently put off by the asking price.
They chose to let the player who contributed to Pirates winning the championship last season go and opted for Takesure Chinyama, a little-known Zimbabwean striker.
But it is strange that all of a sudden Pirates had more than R1-million - or is that close to R2-million? - to sign Chinyama.
Chinyama, we are told, will pocket a staggering R100000 monthly salary.
So didn't Pirates have some few hundred thousand rands left in their kitty to add to what they spent on Chinyama to match what Hassleholm were asking?
Pirates are also said to be close to signing Nigerian striker Yero Bello.
How I wish I knew how much they will spend to capture Bello if he passes trials?
So where is the money suddenly coming from at Pirates?
This is the question The Ghost are probably asking themselves.
Though from where I'm sitting, I can't say with conviction that a team as big as and well-sponsored as Pirates doesn't have R2-million in the bank, but I can argue that they have.
If they said they don't, I would ask what happened to the millions they made in prize money last season.
They swelled their coffers by R10-million by winning the league title alone - the second in two years.
They also added a whopping R12-million for winning the MTN8 (R8-million) and Telkom Knockout (R4-million), respectively.
Though I can't tell Irvin Khoza how to run his club, I was convinced the Iron Duke would break the bank for Rantie, for the sake of continuity at the club.
At 21, Rantie is an investment not only for Pirates, but the country.
For Khoza to allow such a young talent to go and opt for a player that turns 30 next month, boggles the mind.
I'm hoping that Rantie gets enough game-time wherever he ends up because warming the bench will be detrimental to his chances to continue playing for Bafana Bafana.
I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate our swimmers Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh for winning gold medals at the ongoing London Olympic Games.
We hope Team SA will continue to do us proud in their quest for medals over there.
Sowetan also wishes the rest of our athletes in London the best of luck as they go into the second week of the greatest sports show on earth. They should draw inspiration from Le Clos and Van der Burg.
South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam has targeted 12 medals at the London Games and by the look of things the target looks all the more achievable.
Let's continue to offer our athletes unwavering support in London.