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Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt: 'I work on a basis that the transfer ban is not going to be uplifted'

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Gavin Hunt.
Kaizer Chiefs head coach Gavin Hunt.
Image: Kaizer Chiefs/Twitter

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has admitted that even if Amakhosi overturn their signings ban this transfer window they will have been behind the race on their big three rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates for the pick of the players available.

Chiefs have an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland regarding their ban from signing players for two transfer windows imposed by Fifa as a sanction for Amakhosi “illegally” contracting Madagascan midfielder Dax in 2018.

SuperSport United CEO Stanley Matthews pointed out recently that the economic effects of Covid-19‚ like big companies in society‚ should affect the big clubs that margin less‚ and then more down the pecking order.

This should result in smaller clubs releasing players to reduce wage bills‚ with the big teams best poised financially to afford to snap them up.

This has appeared the case in this transfer window as Sundowns and Pirates have gone on spending sprees – also plundering the squads of two PSL clubs who were sold‚ Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park. Chiefs‚ meanwhile‚ have been left to watch helpless awaiting their Cas appeal result.

“I work on a basis that the ban is not going to be uplifted. Obviously‚ if it gets uplifted so be it‚” Hunt said on Thursday in his pre-match press conference for Saturday’s opening DStv Premiership match-up against Sundowns at FNB Stadium.

Hunt was pressed on the concern that even if the ban is lifted‚ Chiefs will by then be‚ and in fact already are‚ well behind the curve in the race to snap up the players who became available immediately after the 2019-20 season.

“Ja‚ look‚ I mean‚ certain teams jumped and got a lot of players for free‚ some teams bought players‚” Chiefs’ new coach admitted.

“Obviously if you look the market all the best players who were available for clubs to take have been taken. But there are still opportunities‚ if a situation arises.

“But‚ as I said‚ I just work on the basis that it [the appeal] is not opening up‚ let’s just work with what we’ve got and try and make that better and harder to beat‚ and win games as well.”

Hunt pointed out he has built his career on an ability to challenge the big three with far more limited player resources winning four league titles at SuperSport and Wits.

“It’s pretty much the same. And you’ve also got six or seven who have come in from the youth development – they even came in last season‚” Hunt said.

“They will come in more‚ and obviously from my perspective we’ve got to work with them. And most importantly can we improve all the players individually and collectively?”

Hunt has a squad to work with who finished Premiership runners-up in 2019-20 under predecessor Ernst Middendorp‚ being pipped to the championship on the final day having led almost the whole campaign.