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Baroka chair Mphahlele accepts personal blame for club’s relegation

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Baroka chairman Khurišhi Mphahlele says they will try to bounce back to the PSL as quick as possible after relegation to the NFD.
Baroka chairman Khurišhi Mphahlele says they will try to bounce back to the PSL as quick as possible after relegation to the NFD.
Image: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

As he prepares for life in the GladAfrica Championship, Baroka chairperson Khurishi Mphahlele has expressed profound disappointment while at the same time taking personal responsibility for the team's relegation.

Baroka were relegated from the DStv Premiership to the GladAfrica, also known as the National First Division (NFD), at the weekend thanks to the Limpopo team's 1-0 defeat to Maritzburg United that left them in bottom place in the Premiership. Swallows FC were dragged to the promotion play-offs in second-last position.

The defeat to Maritzburg heralded the end of a six-year stay in the PSL by Baroka who stunned Orlando Pirates in 2018 on penalties to lift the Telkom Knockout cup under coach Wedson Nyirenda.

Mphahlele accepted personal responsibility for the club's downfall.

“To be honest I am very disappointed. I don’t have words to express how disappointed I am,” he said.

“We all made mistakes during the season and we are all to be blamed for this. I can’t only blame other people, I am also blaming myself because there are some things that we should have handled differently.

“We must take collective responsibility for this undesirable situation. In my case, it is the issue of: what did I do when things were not going right? As a leader I am including myself but this is not the time to point fingers.

“I am also to be blamed because if somebody didn’t do their job, I am the one who was supposed to make sure that people do their jobs in my oversight role and take action if things were not going right.

“If I panicked and took action too early and things went bad I will be blamed, and if I took action too late with things having gone bad, I am also the one to be blamed.

“If I didn’t take action at all I am also to blame. I am not going to say, 'This one did this and that one did that' — they were working under me and I am the one who should have provided leadership.”

Mphahlele said Baroka will try to bounce back immediately from the NFD.

“I am consoling myself that this is how football goes, every season someone must be relegated. It is not because of bad luck, if you didn’t take your chances during the season you will be relegated.

“It will be very good to come back as speedily as possible, we are going to try hard to come back. We just need to work smarter and be proactive, sometimes you see something happening but you hope that things will work out and they don’t work out.”

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