Augousti brother's Bloem Celtic bid hits snag

Max Tshabalala
Max Tshabalala
Image: Bloemfontein Celtic via Twitter

Efforts to keep Bloemfontein Celtic in Free State have hit a brick wall, Sowetan can confirm.

Club boss Max Tshabalala has been looking for a local buyer for some time to avoid a situation where he's forced to sell the club to someone outside the province.

This triggered interest from the Augousti brothers, Jimmy and Ikie, who sold Celtic to Tshabalala four years ago.

Ikie told Sowetan yesterday, however, that the proposed deal had been called off after unfruitful discussions behind closed doors.

"We won't be getting involved. There were discussions, but the deal didn't materialise," he said.

"We couldn't agree terms, bottom line."

Ikie declined to give reasons for the failed deal but said they would reconsider if the two parties could find common ground.

Tshabalala couldn't be reached for comment, but Sowetan understands that the deal collapsed owing to a disagreement over the sale price.

It has been reported that Tshabalala bought the club from the Augousti brothers for around R50-million to R60-million and he's apparently looking for a similar deal, but the brothers are unwilling to meet his demands.

Celtic's financial woes hit a new low last month when seven players were not paid on time, which resulted in the whole team absconding from training.

SA Football Players Union (Safpu) intervened and a meeting was held earlier this month between the parties concerned.

This paved the way for the players to resume training under new coach Steve Komphela.

Tshabalala, however, apparently told the players during the meeting that he was hit hard in the pocket last season and had to spend R21-million from his own money after the main sponsors, MTN, pulled out of their contract with Celtic.

It remains to be seen if Celtic will honour all players' salaries this month.

X