Leaked explosive Steve Komphela letter lifts the lid on the chaos at former club Bloem Celtic
An explosive letter that Steve Komphela wrote to his former employers at Bloemfontein Celtic shortly before the exasperated coach finally quit the club in a huff a few days ago has finally lifted the lid on his tumultuous six-month stay in the Free State.
The leaked letter that Komphela wrote to Celtic management on Thursday December 27 details the staggering levels of unprofessionalism and numerous other irritants at the cash-strapped club the gatvol coach seemingly complained about in previous correspondences.
Celtic chief executive Khumbulani Konco confirmed the letter’s authenticity to SowetanLIVE on Saturday afternoon and it points to deep-rooted problems that include the club almost failing to honour a league fixture against Maritzburg United at Dr Molemela Stadium on September 28.
“We were on the verge of not honouring the Maritzburg United fixture till we forced the players to go and play that match without having prepared for a full week‚” said Komphela in the letter.
Konco said everyone knows that the club is struggling to make ends meet because of their dire financial situation.
“Most of the things that he is saying in that letter are obvious and known and they are related to the dire financial situation at the club.
‘‘Everyone knows that the club is still up for sale and unfortunately there is no buyer‚” said Konco.
Komphela‚ who could not be reached for comment on Saturday‚ also alleges that he used his own money to pay for certain things.
“Even profiling of the opponents‚ I pay from my own pocket to get all that information from independent analysts‚” he said in the letter.
‘‘I’ve been paying from my own pocket since Chippa United (August 5)‚ Lamontville Golden Arrows (August 8)‚ Orlando Pirates (August 19)‚ Kaizer Chiefs (August 29)‚ Black Leopards (September 16)‚ Maritzburg United (September 23) and recently against Mamelodi Sundowns (October 3).
‘‘It is painful to put so much effort and still see a lot of disregard and disrespect.
“A lot of my own personal needs and stuff agreed upon and contained in the contract have never been met and nobody says anything.
‘‘The DSTV at my house is consistently shut down. It is so embarrassing to me to request for basic necessities and items agreed upon before I resumed my service at the club when the club is not even bothered.
‘‘I get a feeling that we are not open and honest to one another‚ the worst imagination in this situation is extremely unsettling.
“As if that was not enough‚ the club has decided to sell Alfred Ndengane and let him go straight away after we had been told that he would be leaving end of the season.
‘‘It is also worth noting that Lorenzo Gordinho is going back to Kaizer Chiefs in December and that leaves us very weak in defence where currently we are the best in the league.”
A deal for businesspersons Sinki Leshabane and Dr Moeketsi Mosola to buy Celtic at R40m fell through in September.
The root of the problem was believed to be Max Tshabalala’s R43m tax debt to the SA Revenue Service (Sars) at the time‚ and an overall debt reported at R60m.
Komphela added that they recently nearly missed a flight to Cape Town to play against Cape Town City on December 22 because the players were on strike.
“The last straw was the most recent incident before we went to play Cape Town City‚” he said.
‘‘We couldn’t train yet again because players went on strike for the fourth time this season totalling 16 days.
‘‘The bonus deal we had agreed upon was not met and as a result players went on strike on Thursday (December 20) and Friday (December 21) when we had a crucial match away on the Saturday (December 22).
“We almost missed the flight to Cape Town because players said they would only go to Cape Town when the agreed amount of bonuses had been paid.
‘‘To my surprise‚ the money was paid on Friday (December 21) so that we could travel to Cape Town.
‘‘My bemusement was that‚ if the money was not available a day before‚ where all of a sudden did it come from. A sign that preparation at Celtic is not important.”
He also labelled their training facilities the worst in the world and lamented the fact that they recently changed the hotel where they camp ahead of matches and replaced it with a sub-standard one.
“Our training grounds are in the worst condition ever for a professional club‚” he said.
‘‘Fields‚ toilets‚ floors‚ offices the yard‚ parking areas and premises extremely untidy and walls are cracking.
‘‘We had a terrible pre-season if any at all and we didn’t have training kit and equipment till lately.
“In preparation for the Sundowns match‚ surprisingly we have now been moved to camp at another hotel and this hotel is far below the standard of a premier league club.
‘‘No meeting room‚ no projector‚ no sound‚ dining area substandard and very poor service. This has a huge psychological impact on the players.
‘‘It looks so bad and unprofessional. We could not do our usual final prep of looking at the opponents profile.”