Suspension a crafty way to ditch coaches

THERE is a new trend in the Premier Soccer League.

It is called "suspension mode".

It is about the suspension of coaches and this practice by PSL clubs looks set to gain momentum.

It's not funny!

In less than a week, two top PSL coaches have been suspended by their clubs for different reasons.

This trend is new to us and it is seen in some quarters as a "subtle" way of firing a coach. The old way of firing a coach was to "redeploy" him in the club, but this was just to frustrate the coach, who would later resign.

There was also a "tactful" way applied by clubs to force coaches to resign when supporters were not happy with the results.

They would simply be told that "as a club we can't guarantee your safety".

But now it's all about suspension.

Struggling Platinum Stars were the first to suspend their coach, Owen da Gama.


He is alleged to have solicited bribes from players for them to get game time.

These are damning allegations, of course, and Dikwena did well to appoint an independent investigation team to get to the bottom of the claims, which will shame the country if proven right.

But my beef is why should they suspend the coach? He should be seen as innocent until proven guilty.

The club argues that Da Gama may tamper with the investigations if he continues with his job.

But it's an open secret that Da Gama has been under tremendous pressure from the club, thanks to the side's abysmal run this season.

And this might have contributed to his suspension.

Rumours abound that former Orlando Pirates treble winner Ruud Krol will replace Da Gama after the Dutchman was seen taking notes during the Stars vs Pirates clash in Phokeng on February 22.

This was, however, vehemently denied by Stars' management.

But I believe it would have been prudent for the club to allow Da Gama to continue coaching under scrutiny, as investigations continue.

Removing him at this crucial time of the season could create instability and affect the mental steel of the players.

I don't think Da Gama is accused by the entire team in the "pay-to-play" allegations.

So surely the suspension of Da Gama will affect those who are loyal to him, those who are happy to play under him.

This, of course, is if the club still has faith in Da Gama.

Joining "Rubberdoll" on the sidelines was Bucs mentor Julio Leal.

Leal, who steered Pirates to an MTN8 and Telkom Knockout glory, was suspended on Monday after the Brazilian's admission to club supremo Irvin Khoza that Pirates were "too big" for him to guide.

I respect Leal for his frank admission but why should they suspend him , rather than show him the door?

I mean, the man has admitted that he has somehow run out of ideas for taking Pirates forward, unless he has not been honest in his admission.

Like Da Gama, Leal has been under pressure after the Buccaneers' embarrassing first-round exit from the African Champions League, humbled by Angolan side Recreativo de Libolo.

This is a difficult time for PSL coaches as they don't know who is next in line to be suspended.

I think club bosses should start to be honest with their coaches and stop lulling them into a false sense of security by being diplomatic with them when they are about to fire them. I hope other clubs don't follow this trend