Man who schemed Bidvest Wits' first league title quits

Coach Gavin Hunt of Wits with CEO Jose Ferreira and George Mokgotsi of Wits during the Bidvest Wits press conference and kit launch at Wits Sports Conference Centre, Sturrock Park on August 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Coach Gavin Hunt of Wits with CEO Jose Ferreira and George Mokgotsi of Wits during the Bidvest Wits press conference and kit launch at Wits Sports Conference Centre, Sturrock Park on August 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Jose Ferreira announced his resignation as chief executive officer of Bidvest Wits on Wednesday for personal reasons‚ but he will continue to serve as a consultant to the club.

That effectively means he will keep his place on both the Premier Soccer League (PSL) executive committee and on the South African Football Association’s (Safa) executive‚ where he is one of the PSL’s representatives.

Ferreira oversaw the first Wits’ first league title in their 96-year-history when they lifted the Absa Premiership under coach Gavin Hunt in the 2016-17 season.

His departure is immediate and follows months of turmoil at the club‚ where budgets have been slashed and personnel laid off‚ plus a recent divorce which has impacted heavily on him.

“It is with deep regret that I have‚ for personal reasons‚ requested the chairman of Bidvest Wits to release me as CEO of the club‚ which request has been kindly accepted‚” he said in a statement released by the club.

“On a personal level‚ 2019 has been one of the most difficult of my life‚ and the many uninterrupted years of service to the game of football‚ which I love so much‚ have all taken their toll.

“I wish to thank Bidvest Wits‚ and in particular previous and current chairmen Brian Joffe and Alan Fainman respectively for having entrusted me with the task of leading this great club for the last seven years.

“The challenge was the biggest of my career as a football administrator‚ and as daunting as it was when I first took over the reigns in 2012‚ I have enjoyed every moment of it.

“I can only hope that I will have met the mandate I was entrusted with by Bidvest and pray that I will have left some enduring personal marks behind.

“I have had the privilege of working at this club with some of the very best professionals in South African football and every single success story of this club‚ during my tenure‚ is largely due to their professionalism‚ drive and passion‚ unequalled in South African football. I will be forever grateful to them all.

“I now intend to take some time off for myself‚ but I have no doubt that the game that has given me so much joy will‚ in no time‚ see me embrace it again.”

Ferreira is expected to take time away on holiday as he recovers from the turmoil.

Last month he wrote a heartfelt open letter about his divorce on social media‚ saying it would “be my biggest regret and sadness for the rest of my life‚ no matter what else is in store for me”.

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