Give supporters a stake in clubs

Image: 123RF/ MTSARIDE

Sports tourism in South Africa is declining, with poor match attendance across all games.

Hooliganism is one of the contributing factors in soccer, owing to the decrepit management and silo mentality in the administration of most football clubs.

It's one thing to be a supporter and the other to be a stakeholder, considering that supporters tend to turn a blind eye to the vandalism in the stadium because their team lost.

This beautiful sport requires role players to observe restraint during and after the game.

Perhaps it's time for football clubs to bring supporters on board as shareholders through equity instruments of a similar kind to the broad-based empowerment schemes.

To realise this, it would need the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to be reconfigured for clubs to participate as public companies, thus affording supporters the chance to be shareholders.

The current model of clubs in the PSL makes that difficult, as well as for retired players to acquire teams through empowerment deals.

Teams with rich heritage, such as Moroka Swallows and Umtata Bush Bucks, could have been saved to keep their status in the league through such transactions or public offerings with the view to gain control of the clubs.

Oftentimes greed prevents those creative initiatives seeing the light of day.

This is despite the transactions bringing role players at the centre of development to support sustainable transformation in football.

We owe it to ourselves to redress the status quo.

Morgan Phaahla